MP to raise actions of academy trust to education secretary after popular head of Swinford school is made redundant

Protesters previously took the streets to support their headteacher.
Protesters previously took the streets to support their headteacher.

MP Alberto Costa will raise the actions of the Diocese of Leicester Academy Trust (DLAT) at Swinford CofE Primary School with the Secretary of State for Education following the redundancy of head teacher Edy O’Connor.

The DLAT made Mr O’Connor redundant as part of plans to install a new ‘executive’ head to cover both Swinford and another school.

Members of the Members of Swinford Parents and Carers Action Group previously took to the streets of Swinford in protest over the plans – which they said will cause the community to suffer.

South Leicestershire MP Mr Costa previously outlined his concern at the approach taken by the academy trust.

But Mr O’Conner’s redundancy went ahead last week.

Mr Costa said: “My office met with the leadership of DLAT last week to discuss their plans for Swinford primary and to inform them of my concerns regarding their lack of consultation and communication with parents and carers over the proposed changes at the school.

"Following this meeting, it was understood that DLAT would strongly consider pausing this process, as advised by myself and the Diocese Board of Education, instead however they have decided to ignore this advice and press ahead with their plans.

“My office has been inundated with correspondence from constituents concerned over DLAT’s actions.

“Having now seen the way the Trust have conducted themselves, I entirely understand these concerns; DLAT have consistently failed parents and carers throughout their restructuring process, they have not been open and honest with parents, and they have not considered the very reasonable suggestions my office and the Bishop of Leicester have given them.

“This now leaves me no choice but to raise this matter in the House of Commons with the Education Secretary.”

A spokesperson for DLAT said the trust would not comment on individual staffing matters – but said small rural primary schools are facing unprecedented pressure, causing difficult decisions to have to be made.

The spokesperson thanked the community for voicing its opinion, and said these views were a ‘key part’ of the process.

Visit www.saveourhead.com to learn more about the Swinford Parents and Carers Action Group