A FURTHER row has sparked over a school’s plan to become an academy and join a Wolverhampton-based trust.

Parents have now accused Stanley Road Primary Schooll’s plan as being a ‘done deal’, before a consultation has even been completed.

But Ann Potter, the school’s headteacher, stresses it has been a “fair and open process”.

Last week the Worcester News reported on the concerns of parents of pupils at Stanley Road Primary School, in Worcester, who said they have not been properly consulted on the bid to join Perry Hall Multi Academy Trust.

Now, parents have been pointing out that on the government’s website, gov.uk, on the details for the school it says: “Close date / Reason: 31/10/2018 Academy Converter.”

Parents say this appears to be the date of the closure and change to an academy, which would be happening despite a consultation period not ending until October 26.

One mum, who has two children at Stanley Road, said: “How could you collate the data in that short period and what if it is overwhelming against. How can you consult, when it is already a done deal? It is not considering the views of parents. It is a box ticking exercise, and is being pushed through.”

Headteacher Mrs Potter said: “Parents have had numerous opportunities to respond, ask questions or seek clarification.

"Parent forum mornings with a MAT focus and invitations to submit questions via email as well as the evening meetings which, contrary to information given to you, have been publicised in advance.

In September 2017 we notified parents that we were thinking about academy status. On November 3 we identified key staff that people could speak to, from support staff to teachers and SLT - whoever they felt most comfortable talking to and the invitation to submit emails was offered.

On November 17 we notified parents of discussions with Perry Hall MAT and the hope to convert to academy status in autumn 2018. These were all on the newsletters.

After further discussions and the start of the due diligence process governors confirmed their intention to convert in a unanimous vote which was relayed to parents in March 2018. When (parents) asked for an extension to the deadline we had set the governors agreed to that extension, giving over a month. It has been a fair and open process. Their objections have been listened to and considered. We have explained why we feel it is necessary to move away from WCC, which has become a commissioning authority without the resources to provide adequate school improvement support. Some parents object to academy status as a political belief. We are leaving politics out of it and are merely doing what we feel is right for the school and our pupils.

Our school governors announced last year that the intention was to academise in Autumn 2018 and 1 November was proposed. In response to parental requests that more time is given, this date has now been postponed until 1 December. We do have permission from the Regional Commissioners Office to convert to an academy but our Governors have yet to sign any legal documentation to that effect."