Published at 07:41, Wednesday, 28 November 2012
IT is not difficult these days to stick your head shoulders, knees and toes above the local educational parapet.
Your assertions in your Opinion column (Courant, November 16) that ‘there are grave concerns over.....first schools.....in becoming primary....’ needs a robust response.
It started with your front page lead on October 19, following a public meeting at Shaftoe Trust First School.
Listening to parents’ concerns and honestly admitting to the difficulties of possible change, is a strength, not a weakness, although it suits your story to say otherwise.
However, we clearly stated that we have been effectively managing change here for years, as indeed have the other schools in the partnership.
I suggest that you could more helpfully lead by explaining the complexities of the present and future educational and funding realities, rather than offering piecemeal opinion.
For example, there is a significant view, because of the present political climate with its greater emphasis on the statistics of children’s attainments, that completing the Key Stage Two curriculum in a primary school would be beneficial.
This pressure to attain is being delivered through the DfE and its new Ofsted agenda, hence Allendale’s predicament.
And so the strong geographical and social arguments for middle schools has never been in starker contrast.
Our school community respects the diversity of views on the relative weightings of academic attainment, friendship groupings, sibling continuity, curriculum depths and breadth and transitional arrangements.
The governors here continue to hold a proactive open mind because of, not despite, these tensions. For we strongly trust in the professionalism of our staff, the support of our parents and the adaptability and enthusiasm of our children. The consultation is still very much alive and kicking.
Chairman of Governors,
Shaftoe Trust First School,
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk