Gleed students in protest over Bourne identity

Will Scott (back centre), head of academy at Sir John Gleed School, Spalding, with students Skye Godfrey, head girl Millie Barnett, Linda Sujeewon, governor and CfbT Schools Trust consultant, Joe Parkinson and head boy Kai Weston.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Will Scott (back centre), head of academy at Sir John Gleed School, Spalding, with students Skye Godfrey, head girl Millie Barnett, Linda Sujeewon, governor and CfbT Schools Trust consultant, Joe Parkinson and head boy Kai Weston. Photo by Tim Wilson.

  • Online petition launched in fight to keep school name
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A student at Spalding’s Sir John Gleed School is leading a revolt against plans to change its name when it comes under new management in September.

Year 10 student Jordan Wignell (15) has launched an online petition called “Stop Bourne Academy from taking over Sir John Gleed School” which just over 400 people have signed so far.

I understand the tough situation which the leaders of Sir John Gleed School have had to face, but it is no excuse to change everything we know and love about the Gleed

Year 10 student Jordan Wignell (15), Sir John Gleed School, Spalding

Jordan and other students are against plans by Bourne Academy, due to form a new partnership with Sir John Gleed School on September 1, to change their school’s name to Spalding Academy.

Bourne Academy and Sir John Gleed School will form the South Lincolnshire Academies Trust under an agreement with the CfBT Schools Trust which currently runs the Spalding school.

Jordan said: “The reason I decided to start the petition was because I knew that a lot of students disagreed with at least some of the changes that Bourne Academy will bring in.

“I also knew that a petition was a good way to share our opinions about the changes with the wider Spalding community.

“This new partnership will directly affect many students who attend Sir John Gleed School in a negative way and I believe the voices of every student should be heard on this matter as it is our school.

“I thought a petition would be good way to do this because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

In the petition, Jordan claimed that plans to change the school’s name to “Spalding Academy” “have angered many students and citizens because the name ‘Gleed’ has always appeared in the name of the school”.

“It might not mean much to those at Bourne Academy but we are proud of our school’s name and to strip us of it would be unjust and wrong,” Jordan said.

Jordan’s petition also opposes plans for year groups to be “abolished” and have students “mixed in with other year groups” instead.

“This is a huge mistake and isn’t going to make social skills in the school any better,” Jordan said.

“First of all, younger students in Year 7 will possibly be bullied and taunted if they are (put) in a form with Year 8 and 9 students.

“Form time is a place where children should feel calm and safe among a group of their peers, but this change will only separate them even further as older students will not communicate with younger people in their forms.

“Also, students are used to their form groups as they have grown and progressed together, made friends and are comfortable in their forms.

“Therefore, isn’t abolishing them and throwing students into a new situation a (dangerous) idea, especially for those in Years 10 and 11 by creating a level of unneeded stress and uncertainty whilst taking their exams.”

Another change, according to Jordan, will see students at Sir John Gleed School having four lessons in the morning and one in the afternoon, instead of the current three lessons in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Jordan said: “This is a ridiculous change and it will only prohibit learning.

“Bourne Academy’s focus is to help the students of Sir John Gleed school achieve more and accelerate with their grades.

“So how does this change help with the grades of students when we already have a perfect balance with our timetable”

“Why fix something that doesn’t need fixing?”

Jordan said the support for his petition from students and the community had been “outstanding” and showed “how passionate Spalding is about this issue.”

He added: “I understand the tough situation the leaders of Sir John Gleed School have had to face, but it is no excuse to change everything we know and love about the Gleed.”

The petition, which can be found at www.change.org, has been acknowledged by head of academy Will Scott who said “I have been made aware of the petition and the questions that arise from it.

“However, there are also many extremely positive comments about the changes and I am excited about the two schools working together in partnership to drive up standards.

“It will see staff and students sharing ideas and working alongside each other to improve current daily practice.”

Meanwhile, Bourne Academy headteacher Laurence Reilly said: ”We are really looking forward to working with the Sir John Gleed School as an equal partner within the recently formed South Lincolnshire Academies Trust.

“We have been made very welcome by all the staff at the school and have already started working together in making preparations for the launch of the new partnership on September 1.

“Some students at Sir John Gleed School will understandably be apprehensive about how the partnership will affect life at their school and many have questions about the future.

“To overcome this, we will be arranging meetings between student representatives of both schools in the next few weeks in order to alleviate these concerns and answer questions from students at both schools in Bourne and Spalding.

“These will take place on both school sites and the students’ representatives will share their findings in assemblies at their own school.”

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