Rugby MP speaks out about Newbold Riverside Primary School academy plans

Protesting parent outside Newbold Riverside Primary School.
Protesting parent outside Newbold Riverside Primary School.
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A GROUP of around 80 people attended a public meeting last night (Monday) to discuss plans to turn Newbold Riverside Primary School into an academy.

The public meeting followed a protest outside the school on Tuesday last week.

Lead protester Loran Dunleavy said: “I was very pleased with the turnout.”

Parents are protesting about the school becoming an academy on November 1.

A statement was read out at the meeting from Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, who was unable to attend.

Mr Pawsey said: “I am supportive of this Government’s academies programme. The underlying principal behind these new measures is that schools facing challenging circumstances only affect one group of people, namely the children who learn there. We must do all we can to improve standards in education and this Government is determined to intervene to enable this to happen.

An effective way of providing schools with a leg up can be to provide support from a third party which knows and understands the challenges a school faces and knows how to overcome them. This is exactly what the Academies programme achieves. An Academy Trust such as REAch2 has a number of schools in its remit and it is their objective to turn each school it partners into a success with each school benefitting from the association.

I know that a number of concerns have been raised including about Freedom of Information disclosure. In a response dated 30 March 2011, The Department for Education confirmed that Academies, by virtue of the Academies Act 2010, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This already applies to schools that have become Academies since September 2010, and will apply to all Academies from January 2011.

Support for the potential success of this programme comes from the independent National Audit Office, which has reported that many academies established already are performing impressively in delivering the intended improvements. I believe that the process of Newbold Riverside Primary School partnering with another Academy will provide the benefits we all wish to see for the benefit of the children who are educated there. “