Former head clarifies school changes - The Evesham Observer

Former head clarifies school changes

Evesham Editorial 2nd Mar, 2019   0

A FORMER Pershore headteacher has spoken out to clarify the ‘misunderstanding’ over controversial education reforms which will be introduced at schools in the town.

Clive Corbett, executive officer at Avonreach Academy Trust, clarified the latest position over the reforms which will see Cherry Orchard First School, Inkberrow First and Norton Juxta Kempsey CE First take on Year 5 pupils from September and year six pupils from next September.

Pershore High School will be taking year seven pupils from September 2021 leaving a number of other local schools concerned at a reduction in pupil numbers and parents concerned about a reduction of choice of where to send their child.

However the former Pershore High headteacher said trust representatives were committed to attending discussions to ensure the age range change has a co-ordinated implementation, for the benefit of pupils across the pyramid.

“This is something we are totally committed to participating in to ensure parents have the choice of where their children are educated and the best interests of all pupils in the Pershore area are looked after,” he said.

“Since the decision is made, this does not mean there is another consultation, but there will be a concerted effort to ensure a coherent implementation of the change with as little disruption as possible to the education process.”

Mr Corbett also revealed a large majority of parents in the trust’s three first schools have chosen to keep their children at Cherry Orchard, Inkberrow and Norton in Year 5 from this September.

Trust chairman Andrew Longdon echoed Mr Corbett’s views and attacked the ‘ill-informed and/or inflammatory comments’ from various groups who claimed the move was financially motivated.

Mr Longdon revealed the Trust spent more than it brought in at the end of the 2017/18 financial year but Trustees had been well aware of this for some time.

“Members of the Trust finance team have been working with the Department for Education for many months on a plan to cover this period, with an in-year surplus position expected during the academic year 2019/20,” he said.

“This plan, which quite clearly affects the High School only, endeavours to ensure this does not impact on the education of the children within all of the Avonreach schools,” he added.

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