Why is consultation so important?
When a school becomes an academy, the rights of pupils, parents and staff are altered – for example, pupils are no longer automatically protected by education law because most only apply to maintained schools. These changes are irreversible and will affect not only the current school community, but generations of families to come. Parents and pupils, as the primary stakeholders, have an unanswerable right to consultation on changes that will affect them so deeply before any decision taken about the future of the school. This is equally the case when a school is coming under duress from the DfE as a ‘forced academy’ as when school governors are making a free choice. Although this may seem like common sense, consultation has so far not been happening in any meaningful way. We as parents have a right to open and democratic consultation where both sides of the arguments can be heard.
Some area for concern are:
1. A fair say to all stakeholders. With academies parents and the community have little to no say on how the school is run.
2. Academies answer directly to central government so the LA (Birmingham city council Local Education Authority) would have no say over the school. Our local elected Councillors that we have elected to represent us would have no influence to support us at the school.
3.When we looked around at neighboring schools it was clear to us that there were very successful schools that were not academies. So do we really need to become an academy to improve our school?