Dear supporters.We wanted to update you on what’s been happening at Love Brum Schools and how we are thinking about moving forward.
A solicitor’s letter was sent in time for the first day of the summer term, and asked the schools to commit to a fair and lawful consultation with a specific request to agree to formally consult before applying to form a multi-academy trust. The schools were asked to respond by a certain date, Shirley Hanson, head teacher of Kings Heath Primary, sent a collective response on the day. Her letter stated that no school is, as yet, making an application to the Secretary of State and that there is no timescale for the schools to begin formal consultation. However, she failed to address the principal question in the solicitor’s letter by giving confirmation that the schools would consult prior to application. The solicitor has sent a follow up email asking the schools to confirm this, and we are awaiting their response.
Park Hill Primary
As some of you will be aware, Park Hill had an Ofsted inspection before Easter, the rating of which was made public after the holidays as ‘Requires Improvement’. For this reason they have announced that they are not currently going to pursue their involvement with the MAT and instead focus on the issues that were raised by the inspection. They will continue to work collaboratively with the STEP group.
Kings Heath Primary
At the beginning of term, Kings Heath Primary announced that formal consultation procedure would not take place before the Autumn Term, if at all. They also stated that they are going to look into other models of collaboration in more detail.
We have had no update from the other STEP schools in light of the responses to their draft MAT proposal. All the secondary schools are still involved, and, as far as we know, looking to move ahead with formal consultation at some unknown point – possibly shortly after the outcome of the general election. The governing body of Wheelers Lane Primary is yet to vote to proceed with formal consultation, although we can’t be sure that they won’t change their mind in future.
We need to think carefully now about how we move forward with the campaign in the secondary schools, given that the proposed MAT is starting to show cracks. STEP carried out a peer review at Park Hill not long before the Ofsted inspection and found no significant issues, despite the STEP heads including former senior Ofsted inspectors. What does the current position of the three primary schools mean for the future of the STEP group? What does this mean for the future of the MAT? STEP hasn’t worked for Park Hill, how will it work for the other schools? It is no longer the group it started out as and surely this means we have to question its ability to function at all. Will the secondary schools begin to look for other primary schools to join the MAT? They talked about growth in the draft proposal. Which schools would they like to add? Over the coming weeks we hope to create a new leaflet with some of these issues and concerns raised. We will then begin a new round of street stalls and hope to do some more door to door leaflet drops.
What can you do?
We are still struggling to reach secondary school parents, many of whom are unaware of the proposed MAT or its implications. Please keep talking about this with your network of friends and acquaintances, and encourage people to:
– join the Love Brum Schools Facebook group or to follow the blog on LoveBrumSchools.com.
– sign one of both of the petitions https://lovebrumschools.com/get-involved/
Attend the Labour Party Education Conference on Thursday 11th May at 6.45pm at Moseley School, College Road. The speakers include Cllr Brigid Jones, Rachel Gillies of Love Brum Schools and Sarah Barton of Ask Parents First.
On Sunday 21st May there is a family event and picnic in Cannon Hill Park to raise awareness of the crippling funding cuts all schools are facing over the coming months. Love Brum Schools fully supports this event and hope as many of you as possible will be able to attend. This is a key issue for all schools and is surely where the schools’ attentions and efforts should currently be.
Do get in touch if you can offer any help or have any ideas for moving the campaign forward. We are just a group of concerned parents and need to support each other in this campaign to get the answers we need and to get the best outcome for all our children, both now and in the future.