Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Campaign to prevent Woodlands academy status plan
A CONCERNED parent has begun a campaign against Woodlands School becoming an academy.
Danielle Northcott, 40, fears for her children’s education if the school, in Woodlands Approach, is turned into an academy.
Mum-of-four Ms Northcott, of Soane Street, Basildon, moved her daughter away from Basildon Lower Academy two years ago after Amaris, 14, suffered stress from being put in isolation for breaching rules.
She fears there will be no protection for parents and pupils because the school will no longer fall under the control of the Local Education Authority – Essex County Council.
She said: “I have grave concerns. There are serious issues when a school opens up as an academy. I amnot in support of this plan for the simple reason of my firsthand experience of one.
“The teachers are not under the same umbrella and when things go wrong, like in my daughter’s case, no one can help you.
“Children should feel safe and happy in their environment, but academies are a law unto themselves.
“What we will find in a few years is schools will not take certain children because they will decide who they want to let in. Vulnerable children with issues won’t be able to get in and that’s unfair.
“Parents are told about this wonderful news and lots of money and new buildings, but the substance is not there. As parents, we have to fight this.”
Woodlands School was put into special measures in December last year after a damning inspection found incompetence with leadership.
Karen Kerridge, from Benfleet’s Appleton School, was brought in as a super head to turn the school around, with an inspection in February reporting things were improving. Plans for the academy could mean Woodlands teams up with the Appleton School, which would sponsor them.
It would mean the same policies and procedures currently used at Appleton would be implemented at Woodlands, and staff would work together.
A spokesperson at the school said: “We had two parent consultation meetings on Tuesday which were well attended and everyone at the meeting was extremely positive about Woodlands School becoming an academy.
“We are still undergoing a period of consultation so any parents who wish to make their views known can do so.”
Ms Northcott has started a Facebook page to share information with parents and also plans to hold a meeting with other parents.
To join the group and for more information search “Against Academy Conversions”.
A final decision is expected to be made by the school in May.
Comments are closed on this article.