Vow to fight on over Stourbridge school’s future

Parents and staff left angry after governors voted to turn a Stourbridge secondary school into an academy today insisted: “We will fight on” and will meet tonight to decide the next step in their campaign to block the move.

Up to 40 members of the Redhill School Concern Group lobbied last night’s governors’ meeting, when the controversial decision was made.

Spokesman Pauline Faux, a former governor whose three daughters used to attend the school, said today: “We put in a petition with over 500 signatures, collected at very short notice, but it seems to have been ignored.

“The governors have gone against the wishes of the community, parents and teachers.

“We are disappointed because we don’t want our local school to go out of local checks and balances.

“But all is not lost and we will fight on,” she added.

The proposals have sparked fears that the children’s education will be disrupted and there would no longer be any local accountability as the school ceases to be under local authority control.

Helen Plaice, aged 47, who has two children aged 16 and 14 at the school, said: “There has been a lot of support from people who, like us, feel the school does not need to change.”

Last week a public meeting was held to discuss the plans and more than 40 parents, residents and staff attended.

They heard from long-standing teacher Paula Roe, who spoke out against the academy plans. She told the audience that she did not believe it had anything to gain by becoming an academy and the majority of staff were against the proposals.

Earlier this month campaigners held a town centre demonstration in their battle against the plans while more than 400 signatures have been collected on a petition.

Redhill headteacher Stephen Dunster said today: “We are pleased that we had a wide range of responses to our consultation, which has been going on for about a month.

“Some of those who responded were concerned but others thought there were real opportunities for Redhill as an academy.”

Governor and Stourbridge MP Margot James said: “It’s an outstanding school by Ofsted standards and we believe it’s best served by being in charge of its own destiny and the freedoms that an academy would bring over the curriculum and the services it wants to provide.”