Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge has challenged the Secretary of State for Education in the House of Commons over her lack of regards for parental choice after making reference to the academisation of Cambridge primary school St Philip's
Mr Zeichner said, "Extraordinarily, although a consultation is going, the parents already have been told that the outcome is a foregone conclusion," and then posed the question, "why is the Secretary of State so opposed to parental choice."
Parents of St Philip's have been asked to provide feedback on proposals that would see the Church of England school become an academy and join the Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust (DEMAT). The schools Interim Executive Board (IEB) has state that they believe academisation will best sere the long term interests of the school after it received a warning notice from the Local Educational Authority last Autumn.
There have been a number of questions raised during the process after it was confirmed by the IEB that they incorrectly informed parents that academisation could not be stopped. Since the consultation process started a number of parents have voiced opposition to academisation with a group even coordinating a petition that Daniel understands has already received 70 signatures.
Daniel said, "my primary concern is that the parents and the local community are involved in the future of St Philip's
It is not proven that academisation is always in the best interest of schools and improvements at St Philip's over the last year show that this school was capable of making the necessary improvements and returning to the high standards previously recognised by OFSTED. Forced academisation is the ideological fixation of a Government that is failing to resource schools properly - I hope the Regional Schools Commissioner will take note of the views of parents and staff and show that this is a genuine consultation, not a done deal."