Just to keep those interested in the Louth saga updated.
This has been a really key week for our campaign. The schools held a series of meetings for parents to explain the drivers for changing the schools set up in Louth. I am delighted with some of the principles behind the ideas,
a) a broad comprehensive education will be promised on each site for those aged 11-14.
b) each site within the scheme will have the potential to offer post 14 and post 16 specialisms. The children will only travel at the start and end of specific days - this is a model that has worked well in the schools thus far involved in the soft federation that has existed up to now.
We are talking about a scheme that will provide choice within, not between schools. The merits of this may take some time for parents to get used to, but as a comprehensive idealist I can fully support the principles behind this if the ethos/pastoral support is right.
c) The academy route is only one option. The local authority are being constructive in their proposals to the governors, and the governors are prepared to take it slow and fully investigate all options.
d) The heads and CoGs have publicly committed to consultation on the proposed model before it goes to governors vote. This will include putting governors meetings minutes on a local town partnership website.
Alasdair Smith from the AAA visited to meet with teachers and governors this week. As a result of this the teacher governors at two of the schools are holding a meeting with all staff to discuss their position further. I am delighted that the staff now seem to be empowered, acting as a group separate to the SOS campaign.
I think what pleases me most was the constructive spirit that the meetings took place in. I think some of the governors were suspicious of the SOS groups standpoint - assuming that we are just anti-change, but at the end I was able to offer the potential support of the group if the local authority option was taken. This was accepted in principle by the governors.
SO for those of you campaigning, KEEP GOING. We are now almost 6 months in, and the local authority is being properly considered as a viable option. Academies are not inevitable.