Weston Academy Action Group continue to question what led to closure plans for primary school

The action group for Weston Academy say they will continue their investigations into what led to the closure and “demise of an on-the-up, progressive modern school”.

WAAG Members - George Metcalf, Dr Geoff Witt, John Mackett, Amelia Dennis, Louisa Thompson, Nik Sheldon

Parents of pupils at Weston Academy primary school continue in their campaign to get to the truth of how closure plans, announced back in September 2015, came about.

They’re asking why parents were not informed sooner of the “very serious situation at Weston Academy” apparently identified during a Department of Education (DfE) visit in June.

FOI request refused by DfE
The Action Group have requested a copy of a letter from the Department of Education and the head teacher’s response, but this has been refused by academy sponsor, AET.

In addition, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to see the correspondence (which the group say is not on file at the school) has also been rejected under ‘confidentiality’ reasons.

The Group say they will challenge the refusal.

Timing caused “major disruption and anguish”
As it appears that concerns were known well in advance of the closure notice on 22nd September, parents have demanded to know why Weston was not closed during the summer term instead.

They argue the transfer of staff and pupils “would have been orderly over the summer” rather than result in what they refer to as “major disruption and anguish to pupils and parents”.

Financial benefit?
The Group also questioned whether closing the school on 31st December rather than in the summer was financially beneficial to AET and go on to reject the assertion from AET that,

“The way that Weston closure was carried out was correct, and enabled parents to plan well for the next stage of their children’s education.”

A “ghost school robbed of its life”
A spokesperson for the Group says,

“We intend to continue our investigations now that Weston Academy has become a ghost school robbed of its life.

“There are other avenues to explore which we expect to lead to further revelations about what actually led to the closure and demise of an on the up and progressive modern school.”

Image: WAAG Members – George Metcalf, Dr Geoff Witt, John Mackett, Amelia Dennis, Louisa Thompson, Nik Sheldon

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Thursday, 19th November, 2015 3:25pm

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Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Top story, Totland, West Wight

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