Schools should seek a ‘full consultation’

SCHOOLS adopting academy status should engage in a full consultation with parents, the community and Skegness Town Council, several councillors claim.

As many local schools consider becoming academies either with a sponsor or independently, Coun Mark Anderson raised a motion to discuss the issue at the latest Skegness Town Council meeting on Wednesday.

Although the motion was supported by Coun Gary Ellis and Coun Jim Carpenter, it could not be discussed because so many councillors are also governors and were therefore prevented from debating the issue, making the meeting temporarily inquorate.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Steve Kirk said: “When all our governors disappear, there’s none of us left. This is going to be a problem we’ve got to find some way of solving.”

Coun Phil Kemp believed the wording of the motion may have forced many of the councillors to claim a prejudicial interest, thereby barring them from any discussion but felt that it could still be discussed if rephrased at a later meeting.

Earlier in the meeting during the public sesssion a governor at Skegness Junior School, a school poised to become an academy under the Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust, raised her concerns about the relationship between the head teacher and the governing body at the school. Julie Griffiths felt that the head teacher Tom Smith was being forcing her out of the governing body and dictating the agenda.

She said: “I feel tread all over and pushed out.”

However Mr Smith has since spoken to Mrs Griffith and explained the issue, which seems to have been based on a misunderstanding.

He said: “‘It is unfortunate that Julie Griffiths did not get a clear explanation from LCC about the legal framework for governance and why or when they want her to reapply as a governor.

“The request to reapply is not my decision, nor did LCC inform me of Julie’s letter. I have always valued Julie’s hard work for the school.

“I talked to Julie on Friday and recommended that she speaks to both Governor Support and Nigel West for clarification about her letter, which should put her mind at ease and halt any misplaced speculation.’