Matlock parents fight against academy proposals

Parents of children at Castle View Primary School, Matlock are upset the school is becoming an academy. Pictured front l-r is Aleesha Kerry, Kate Stanley and Danielle Raybould.
Parents of children at Castle View Primary School, Matlock are upset the school is becoming an academy. Pictured front l-r is Aleesha Kerry, Kate Stanley and Danielle Raybould.

Parents are joining together to fight against proposals to turn a Matlock school into an academy.

After hearing this week the Department of Education has proposed Castle View Primary School, in School Road, should become an academy, some parents have banded together to fight the change.

Mum Emily Brailsford, who has two children attending the school at the moment, is heading the campaign against the plans.

She said: “It’s disgusting.”

Emily, of Matlock, said there is huge support for the campaign from the Hurst Farm estate, where many of the pupils’ families live.

She explained that her eldest child, who now attends Highfields, has special educational needs (SEN), and she purposefully moved him from another school to there because it offered him better facilities.

Emily said the school has a high proportion of children with SEN and raised concerns that if the school became an academy they may not get the same level of support.

“An academy can’t stop children with SEN going to school, but once they’re there they can say ‘we can’t meet your needs’,” she added.

Emily explained that academies are often sponsored by businesses and therefore often act like businesses.

“Although academies are not allowed to charge there can be costs for introducing new school uniforms, academies can charge what they like for school meals – it’s hugely going to effect the vast majority of families,” she added.

Head teacher Clare Peat said the school’s governors are consulting on the proposals, and have until Friday to decide whether to back them or not.

She said the children’s education was of paramount concern and a sponsor had not yet been identified for the school.

Castle View Primary School is currently in special measures, however the last inspection report by Ofsted showed positive changes.

Consultations are due to take place in the coming weeks on proposals to turn St Giles Primary School, in Matlock, into an academy.

A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “Castle View Primary School was put into special measures last year and progress has not been good enough.

“Our plan is to ensure every child leaves school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. Becoming an academy with the support of a strong sponsor is the best solution to bring about rapid and sustained improvement.

“We are currently discussing next steps with the school. There will be a formal consultation before any decision is made and all responses will be taken into account.”

The Facebook group ‘Save Our School’ has been set up on in support of the campaign.