Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tidemill governors decide

Tonight, the governors of Tidemill School met to decide the future of the school. A small number of campaigners braved the icy conditions outside the school this evening in a candlelit vigil, whilst the governors met inside the school.

At around 7.30pm the governors emerged from their meeting, but refused to comment on the decision made. It will be posted on the website tomorrow, the campaigners were told. "We want to let everyone know at the same time, so we can't tell you now" said another. "What if I'm not online?" asked one of the campaigning parents. "The parents will get a letter" was the reply...

Meanwhile, most topically and almost simultaneously, the BBC was broadcasting at 8pm on Radio 4 a documentary report called Who Owns England's Schools - an investigation into the government's drive for academies, as part of The Report series. Three schools are featured, one of which is Tidemill Primary, including an interview with Frankham House resident Leila Galloway who has two children at the school, but alas, whilst the programme was still being edited this afternoon, neither the head teacher Mark Elms (nor the Chair of Governors) was available for comment. Michael Gove can be heard, stroking his white cat.

One of the schools featured who converted at astonishing speed to academy status over the summer period, reported a total lack of interest from parents in their conversion. The BBC reporter, James Silver, tells Leila that it appears from Tidemill's website that the school has done a considerable amount of consultation. Leila has to remind him that there would have been none at all if she hadn't campaigned.

Much of the publicity around government changes in education have concentrated on university fees and the abolishment of the Education Maintenance Award, but bigger changes are going on right on our doorstep. See the synopsis of the Radio 4 report here. If this programme is available to listen again we'll post the link.  UPDATE: the programme is available here on BBC's iPlayer

More news tomorrow regarding the governors' decision...

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