LETTER: St Giles School, Matlock – parents in favour of academy proposals?

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Cllr Steve Flitter, in his letter printed in the 27 November edition

of the Matlock Mercury, states that he has ‘been alerted to the plight

of St Giles

School by angry and disillusioned parents’.

It would be interesting to know just how many parents contacted him.

Was it a deputation of parents or was it perhaps just one ?

From the feedback I have received from parents attending the two

parent consultation meetings, only one parent expressed any great

concern over the proposal to convert the school to academy status.

In fact I understand that much less than half of the parents actually

attended. From this we can assume that the vast majority of parents

are either in favour of the proposals, or have no opinion either way.

A number of parents have asked what the alternative to becoming an

academy is. The answer is that the school would remain under the

control of politicians at the county council, and it is here that

people like Cllr Flitter have a vested interest.

This is the same authority which controlled the school when it went

from been classed as ‘outstanding’ to being placed in special measures

and apparently did little to halt this decline.

I think that the majority of parents would be happy to see an

alternative body looking after the school’s interest – they could

hardly do any worse than the county council.

More and more schools, many of them high achieving schools, and

including many Derbyshire schools, are now voluntarily deciding to

relinquish the political control of local authorities and convert to


Of course councillors don’t like this as it diminishes their influence

and reduces the grants which they receive from central

government.Finally, a recent Ofsted inspection has resulted in the

school no longer being in special measures.

All but one of the criteria by which Ofsted judges schools has placed

St Giles in the ‘good’ category.

When the school was placed in special measures, just over 12 months

ago, it was said that it would probably be at least two years before

any improvement was seen.

To have achieved this level of improvement in so short a time is a

testament to the hard work of the acting headteacher, all her staff

and the governing body.

They must be heartily congratulated.

Mike Naden

Starkholmes Road, Matlock