Pupils protest against not being consulted about academy status, while solicitor warns of rush to convert

Janet Downs's picture
Sixth form pupils at a Pinner school protested last week against lack of consultation with pupils over academy conversion. Harrow Law Centre said that school pupils were being told to be active citizens but schools didn’t seem to want to seek the views of students. A solicitor at the centre said, “There's a kind of generally perceived draw towards the academy programme nationally. People may have been swept up in this and forgotten that there's a process to be gone through. Schools don't seem to be consulting, as they are required to do so, with people who are going to be affected.”

Head teachers at the seven schools involved said their consultation, which lasted four weeks, was high profile and inclusive. Their joint statement said, “The consultation has been longer and higher profile than many academy conversion consultations.”

If what the heads say is true, then it would appear that there are schools who are rushing through their consultations in less than four weeks (which is too short a timescale in any case). This would confirm fears often expressed on this site that academy consultation can be too hasty thereby leaving little time for a measured response.
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