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Ex-governor rejects multi academy trust plan for six Shropshire schools

By Rob Smith | Market Drayton | Education | Published:

A former governor of a Shropshire school has spoken out against the Multi Academy Trust (MAT) that will soon incorporate six schools in the county.

Market Drayton Infant and Nursery School

John Hargreaves resigned as chair of governors at Market Drayton Infant School a year ago because “it became clear that the headteacher and a majority of governors wanted to take the school into a multi-academy trust”.

This week he said: “There’s no evidence that academies just by being academies bring any improvements to academic standards.

“My main concern with this trust is the lack of strong, local accountability. The local authority has its imperfections but it did give us a degree of local accountability.

“It honestly cared about the educational standards of each of its pupils. The system may move away from the education of young people to one based much more on the government’s agenda. I don’t think that it is necessarily a good thing.”

Mr Hargreaves wrote a letter to the Newport Advertiser last week voicing his concerns about the impending decision.

In it he said: “The coming together of our infant, junior and secondary schools in a co-operative trust two years earlier had great potential for raising the aspirations and achievements of our town’s young people.

“I was unwilling to help lead the infant school out of that co-operative trust and into a multi-academy trust being planned in Wem.

“Local democratic oversight will be lost. Neither members nor trustees of the MAT will be elected by parents or school staff.”

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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