Parents’ anger at merger meeting

NILALC100713K1 - Bennerley business college
NILALC100713K1 - Bennerley business college

Angry parents have reacted in fury at plans to merge the Ormiston Enterprise Academy and Ormiston Ilkeston Academy.

Around 100 people were at the Bennerley Avenue School for a consulatation event organised by Ormiston on Tuesday night.

But bosses from the charitable trust failed to give parents the answers they wanted when confronted about the plans to bring both schools together at the Ilkeston site.

One mum, Alison Gilbert, said: “Without this school Cotmanhay has nothing, it will go back to being like the Bronx.

“If you cared at all about our children you would never have put this plan forward.

“Parents looking at where to send their children next did not even know about an open evening held here last week. You say pupil numbers are falling but you’re doing nothing about it.”

Another mum told the Advertiser that her year six son had been sent home with a letter about secondary school options and the Ormiston Enterprise Academy was not even mentioned.

Furious parents shouted at chair of governors, Angela Preston from the Ormiston Trust, about the £7.4m of government funding promised to the school and accused the trust of using Bennerley to get the money to improve the Ilkeston site.

Ms Preston responded to the accusations saying: “I can see how it looks like that but this school will have a deficit and that is why this merger has been proposed.”

Another parent, Sam Partridge, branded the meeting a waste of time and said she believed a decision had already been made, a claim Ms Preston moved to deny.

But dad, Mick Treacy appealed to prospective parents at the meeting to sign their children up next year despite uncertainty over the school’s future saying: “If parents sign their kids up Ormiston haven’t got a leg to stand on.”