Petition launched against academies by Lincolnshire group

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A PETITION against turning schools into academies has been launched.

Lincolnshire County Council decided last month it wanted all its state schools to convert to academies, freeing them from local government control and letting them decide how to spend their budget.

The council recommended schools apply through the Centre for British Teachers Academies Trust, which has pledged to support smaller schools

But a group called Save Lincolnshire Schools has set up a petition against the move, accusing the council of acting without consulting schools and parents.

Organiser Rob Shorrock, from Grantham, said: “We think there should be a proper debate and a full investigation into the implications of mass academisation.

“We are concerned that some schools are being forced into doing something that may not be suitable or even appropriate.”

Bourne Abbey Primary Academy is the only Lincolnshire primary school in the Mercury area to have been granted academy status so far, while the Robert Manning College became the Bourne Academy this month and the Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen converted in January.

Stamford Queen Eleanor School and Bourne Westfield Primary School hope to become an academy on November 1, while Malcolm Sargent Primary School, Bourne Grammar School, Bourne Westfield Primary School and The Deepings School all applied to become academies this year and hope to have converted by January 1.

Rutland County Council has no stance on academies although Brooke Hill Academy and Catmose College in Oakham, Uppingham Community College and Casterton Business and Enterprise College have already converted.

Mr Shorrock added: “This has huge implications for local democratic control of schools.

“You would think that Lincolnshire County Council would be consulting far and wide on the options.

“But no, they are pushing ahead with CfBT, their preferred sponsor for all these schools.

“Schools that leave local authority control are essentially controlled by Westminster.

“They may believe this gives them freedoms but is also leaves them exposed to greater risk.”

The petition and further information are available online at http://epetitionslincolnshire.firmstep.com/petitions/save-our-schools.

The group also has a Facebook group.

The petition currently has 12 signatures.