Open Letter 2 to the IEB

Open Letter to the IEB

 10th July 2014

Dear Interim Executive Board, 

Following the meeting consultation and information evening that was held at school on Monday 7th July at 6pm we would like to thank the IEB of St Joseph’s who arranged the attendance of the following people:

  • Cathal Lynch (IEB)
  • Denise Flynn (IEB)
  • Deacon Peter Middleton (Diocese)
  • Rev Jonathan Veasey (DES – Director of the Diocesan Education Service)
  • Michael Moran (DES – Deputy Director: School Effectiveness)
  • Janet Rowe (DES – Deputy Director: Capital Projects and School Place Planning),
  • Yvonne Brennan (DES – Deputy Director: Curriculum and School Improvement)
  • Richard Potter (DES – Schools’ Officer)
  • Jackie Tomlinson (Executive HT St Josephs and St. Martin de Porres School)
  • Helen Miles (Birmingham LA)
  • Jacqueline Byrne (DfE – Policy Advisor & Team Leader)
  • Rob Briscoe. (DfE)
  • Hollie Parish (Partnership Business Manager at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School)

The letter from the IEB stated that this would be a consultation and information meeting about the MAC and it invited questions from parents to be emailed in advance of the meeting to help prepare the IEB. There was considerable discussion about the MAC from all parties including representation from the DfE in London and a useful presentation from the DES on the proposed MAC model.

It is clear so far that there are confusions about the MAC models and process of conversion and at what stage of consultation we are in? Parents at the school have had little information since July 2013 and as we are about to come out of an Ofsted category it was stated by the DfE that the whole process to convert the school to MAC might take just 4 months.

Whilst the potential advantages of MAC conversion were explored in Mr Moran’s presentation, there was no formal exploration of the potential disadvantages for St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School of such a conversion.

DES said this was ‘not a consultation’ and also that emails sent in would not be answered.

There was no formal unbiased session on the reasons to convert or not to convert St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School to a MAC.

A number of the parent body were not at the important meeting due to family commitments a lot of whom have signed the petition (which can be viewed at and therefore they are not being kept informed of the situation or discussion that took place on Monday.

It is important that, as a challenging academic year comes to a close, everybody should know where the IEB, School and Diocese currently stand in regards to St Joseph’s Catholic Primary moving forward as part of a MAC.

On this basis it is reasonable request that the IEB / DES write to the parents informing them of the following:

1)    the current status of the MAC as of 7th July 2014

2)    the current status of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in the MAC

3)    who if any has been appointed to represent St Josephs on the MAC Board

4)    the MAC models and schemes as set out in the presentation by Michael Moran ( a copy of the presentation would be useful)

5)    the next steps the School and Diocese plan to take and when, such as proposed conversion date.

This level of detail will ensure the parent body and school community as a whole is more up to date with the progress of the conversion of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School as part of a MAC.

Thank you for arranging the meeting.

We look forward to an urgent written response within 7 working days to the group and the wider parent body.

Yours faithfully,


Ask St Joseph’s Parents

CC: Head Teacher,  Diocesan Education Service,  MAC Partnership Manager


Timeline of events and public correspondence regarding the MAC

In summary the public face of this process to-date adds up to about 11 pages of A4 that have been issued to parents of the school.  That’s at least an environmentally friendly process for 5 primary schools and 1 secondary school MAC! However, at various points individual parents who have expressed concern have received personal assurances from the former Governing Body and the DES that consultation would be an ongoing part of the process and that as a group we are now forced to question whether this has translated from rhetoric into reality?

  • 20th March 2013 – 4 Page consultation outline proposal for MAC conversion for 5 Primary Schools and 1 Secondary issued to parents.
  • 17th April 2013 – Letter from school for Academy Consultation Evening planned 23rd April 2013.
  • 23rd April 2013 – Meeting at school with parents re the MAC starts at 7pm.
  • 3rd May 2013 – MAC FAQ’s issued to parents.
  • July 2013 – Academy Conversion Letter issued to parents.
  • 11th September 2013 – Notice given to school of an Ofsted inspection.
  • 11th September 2013 – Multi Academy Conversion Letter loaded to website. The schools have converted.
  • 12th September 2013 – Ofsted Inspection at school.
  • 27th September 2013 – Letter back to parents indicating – All six schools have submitted applications to become MAC.
  • 15th October 2013 – Parents meeting at school about Ofsted Report.
  • 17th October 2013 – School inspection report released.
  • 4th December 2014 – Meeting with Colmore Team and Helen Miles at school. The Strategic Plan to get us out of special measures.
  • 15th January 2014 – Parents Strategic Consultation Group met for the first time. Feedback by the parents to the parents.
  • 5th February 2014 – Parents Strategic Consultation Group. Feedback?
  • 12th March 2014 – IEB Established at school.
  • April 2014  – Hollie Parish MAC Update “DfE brokerage teams are putting together a submission to the ministers.  If this is successful we will be granted an Academy order and the legal and process of conversion will start in earnest.
  • 23rd June 2014 – Open Letter to IEB requesting proper consultation on the MAC.
  • 24th June 2014 – Form added to the school website for Academy Foundation Director Application.
  • 27th June 2014 – Meeting offered to parents by the IEB on Monday 7th July.
  • 7th July 2014 – Meeting about the MAC.

If the devil can’t make us really bad, then he’ll try and make us really busy!

To quote Craig Groeschel “If the devil can’t make us really bad, then he’ll try and make us really busy!”

If there are any parents who cant make the meeting on Monday @6pm and have any concerns about St Joseph’s becoming part of a MAC or any other issues they want to address to the new head teacher and IEB please feel free to email askstjosephsparents @ and we will submit these to the school as they have requested.

Your email address will remain confidential to us and the question will be submitted from Ask St Josephs Parents.

Alternatively just fill in the form below…






St Josephs Academy FAQ’s

FAQ’s were issued to the parents of all schools in the proposed MAC on 3rd May 2013.  You can see the document by clicking on the link below..

Further to the consultation document (issued 20th April 2013) and open sessions that took place at schools (23rd – 29th April), please find below a summary of the frequently asked questions regarding the proposed conversion to Multi Academy Company Status.