Junior school is set to be academy

NILA 04-07-12 BE 1 Cotmnahy junior school.
NILA 04-07-12 BE 1 Cotmnahy junior school.

Cotmanhay Junior School could be taken out of county council control despite opposition from teachers and governors.

The decision to turn the school into an academy has been made by central Government based on previous bad results in exams and Ofsted inspections.

Schools, deemed to be failing their pupils, such as Bennerley – now Ormiston Enterprise Academy – have been forced to become academies.

But the controversial decision has angered staff and governors who said the school has made improvements recently and have vowed to fight the decision.

Chair of governors Linda Burns explained that the move would mean the school would have to pay for support from the county council and would have to control its own budget.

“Governors and staff don’t want this for our pupils,” she said.

“We’re already improving standards to give our children the best possible education.

“Results are rising and Ofsted judged us to be ‘satisfactory’ in our last inspection in November.

“To continue improving we need investment and expertise and ongoing support of the county council – not a private sponsor.”

Ms Burns sent letters home with children last week calling the plan ‘strange’, because Cotmanhay Infants School shares the same building as the junior school in Beauvale Drive.

More letters will be sent out over the next few weeks asking parents for their views.

One parent, who did not want to be named, told the Advertiser: “It is very concerning for a lot of parents. You have to look out for your kids but if you don’t know who the people are who are going to be taking over, you don’t know how standards are going to change.”

Every secondary school in Ilkeston has become, or is about to be made into, an academy but so far no junior, primary or infant schools have converted.