Parents voice opposition to plans to close Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen

Charles Read Academy
Charles Read Academy
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Parents and a trade union have joined a county council in criticising the decision to close a rural secondary school.

Steph Fleury, whose daughter is a pupil at Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen, has launched a petition and parents have set up a working group to oppose the closure of the school.

West Grantham Academies Trust, which runs the school, announced on January 30 the school will shut by September 2014.

The 230 pupils at Charles Read will transfer to the West Grantham Academy St Hugh’s.

On Friday Lincolnshire County Unison said it “completely opposed” the closure of the school.

Lincolnshire County Unison communications officer and joint children’s convener Stephen Lockwood said: “Lincolnshire County Unison is completely opposed to the proposed closure of the Charles Read Academy, which is part of the West Grantham Academies Trust.

“Unison believes that, although not a large school, it is an important school for the surrounding rural area with the alternatives for pupils in the Corby Glen area, being situated in Bourne and Grantham.

“If students were to travel to the other secondary school in the West Grantham Academies Trust this would involve the pupils travelling in excess of 26 miles per day.

“This will lead to an increased cost in travelling to school which has to be met by either the county council or by parents themselves depending how the pupils get to school.

“In these times of austerity the last thing a family needs is an increased cost of taking their children to school.

“This also proves how academies are not accountable to the local community.”

In 2011, the school became an academy and joined the trust. This made it independent of Lincolnshire County Council, which has also criticised the proposal to close the school saying the move makes little sense.

West Grantham Academies Trust chief executive Trudy Brothwell said the school is closing not because of poor attainment but because of a change in funding.

In league tables recently published, 38 per cent of Charles Read pupils achieved five A*-C grades at GCSE but Mrs Brothwell said there was no link between the proposed closure and attainment at the school.

She said that the decision was, in part, due to Government funding changes which allocate money per pupil.

The parents’ petitions are available to sign in Corby Glen at the primary school, the Fighting Cocks pub, the surgery, the Co-op and Pauline’s Store. They are also in the South Witham village store and are being distributed around Colsterworth.