MORE than 1,200 concerned parents signed a petition registering their opposition to Pershore High School’s proposal to take in year seven pupils from September 2016.
Eleanor Wise and Jonathan Small from the parent group Parent Voice, which has co-ordinated the petition, presented the document to High School headteacher Clive Corbett last Friday (February 13).
The Station Road school had been seeking views from local parents and schools on possibly extending the school’s age range to include year seven pupils, aged 11 and 12.
Currently, youngsters at middle schools in the town transfer to the school when they reach year eight – usually at the age of 13-years-old.
But under the proposals being suggested by Pershore High School, pupils who reach year seven in September 2016 would move schools a year earlier.
Further options including delaying any move until September 2018 or scrapping the proposals altogether and retaining the current system.
Consultation on the plans closed last Friday (February 13) and Mrs Wise, chair of Parent Voice, said: “The vast majority of parents in our area feel the middle school system is a very valuable one, which works well here and they want to preserve that, because of all the benefits that it provides their children.
“Even of the minority of parents, who would like a two-tier system, many, nonetheless, oppose PHS’s proposal because of the absence of proper planning: the local authority have no money to finance and manage the restructuring that would be required.
“All the evidence suggests that there would be major educational disruption as a result and our children’s progress and achievement would suffer.
“We are making clear to high school governors, also, that the objections parents have against the proposal are not time sensitive either.
“Regardless of when such a change might be introduced, it will, nonetheless, still have no local authority money, there will be no independent overall management to ensure a proper strategy for the whole of the pyramid of schools and so our children
would suffer the same disruption.
“We don’t want this in 2016, or 2017 or any future date the high school wants to suggest.
“The danger in allowing this idea to drag on and on is that First Schools will all have to make contingency plans; each working to preserve their own interests and without regard to how that will affect the other schools around them.
“In all of that the children’s interests, across the whole of our area, will not be their priority.” she added.
Visit www.parentvoicepershore.com for further information or search for ‘School Changes in Pershore – Parent Voice’ on Facebook.