Academy bid for schools

Fresh hope: Parents at Marshland Primary School hope to save their school.                                                    Picture: Steve Taylor.

Fresh hope: Parents at Marshland Primary School hope to save their school. Picture: Steve Taylor.

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EDUCATION bosses are considering converting all the primary schools in Thorne and Moorends into academies.

A report which goes before the cabinet next week has proposed education officers explore the possibility of the feeder primary schools for Trinity Academy, in Thorne, becoming academies sponsored by the same trust.

Officers are also now recommending Marshland Primary School, which had been earmarked for closure, becomes a sponsored academy with the United Learning Trust.

It is one of two options being discussed by the council’s cabinet next Wednesday. The other option on the table is still closure.

Marshland is currently in special measures following an Ofsted inspection in February and has 39 per cent of its places unfilled.

Parents at the school set up Marshland Mums Against Closure, and want it to be given time and support to get out of special measures.

Spokeswoman Kendra Bissell said: “We’re very happy. We feel we have now been given a fair go by the council.”

The cabinet is being asked to back starting consultation on the proposals.

Coun Eric Tatton-Kelly, cabinet member for the children and young people’s services, said: “There is a real need to improve the quality of education for pupils in this area and to raise achievement levels.

“We also need to make sure we are getting the best value for money for local people. Having surplus places that we are responsible for means less money for all other school pupils in Doncaster.

“We also want to minimise disruption for pupils and parents.”

Doncaster National Union of Teachers divisional secretary John Coward, who is also a school governor in Thorne, said he was opposed to converting successful schools into academies and did not support the proposals to bring in the trust to run all the schools which feed Trinity.