The fight is on to save Rushey Mead Secondary School
On 17th June 2013, governors at Rushey Mead Secondary School met to discuss whether to investigate academy status. The following communication was sent out on behalf of the chair of governors the following day:
What followed was a period of consultation. Large numbers of staff expressed their opposition by writing to the governors; these letters from staff were not initially passed on to governors. The outcome of the consultation, which is available on the school's website, showed no great appetite for conversion and demonstrated that, aside form the trade unions' opposition, a majority of staff, the Local Authority, the City Council and the ex-headteacher of the school were vehemently opposed to conversion. No positive reasons have ever been put forward explaining how conversion will benefit education in the city of pupils at Rushey Mead.
Since the consultation finished last October, everybody has been told that the governors are not in a position to make a decision and that they are continuing to investigate the possibility of converting. Governors meet again on 4th February to decide whether they are now in a position to make a decision.
Now, take a look at the DfE's website which details academy conversions - go to
Open academies and academy projects in development and click on 'publications list spreadsheet'. (You will need Excel or Excel Viewer.)
Rushey Mead School's name appears as a school whose application to convert has been granted. So when did the DfE receive this application? I have made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for all minutes from meetings pertaining to academy conversion and am due to receive those papers this week. It seems very likely though that the application was made following the governors' meeting on 17th June 2013, prior to any consultation and while staff, the LA, and possibly governors themselves, were still under the belief that they were investigating the pros and cons! Who made that application and with what authority?
We once again call on governors to reject these flawed proposals and ask why Rushey Mead's name appears on a list of schools who have applied to become an academy.