Day 44 – Legal Challenge in Sheppey

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Sheppey Academy
Leigh Day was instructed by a mother of six whose children attend schools on the Isle of Sheppey regarding a proposal to reorganise education on the island from three-tier to two-tier system, with an academy being set up as the secondary school.

She was extremely concerned about this proposal and in particular the manner in which Kent County Council (KCC) was trying to implement it without listening to and considering parents’ views.

Late last year, she issued proceedings challenging the decision taken by the Council to close the first schools and one of the middle schools. The decision had been taken without providing parents and children with any proper information about the proposed academy. Given the link between the closure of the primary and middle schools and the proposed academy, this information was required by parents so they could properly assess the proposal. Without it, they were unable to meaningfully respond to the proposal.

This challenge was successful and the Council conceded the claim. They agreed to withdraw their decision and undertake proper consultation with the local population before deciding whether to go ahead with the reorganisation programme.

Should an undemocratic decision be made to go two-tier, then SMS is willing to take Bedford Borough to a Judicial Review.

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3 Responses to Day 44 – Legal Challenge in Sheppey

  1. Ed Thomas says:

    Re Times and Citizen Front Page – Thurs 11th June

    As the spokesman for the upper schools in Bedford borough, may I remind Mr Tony Withell, if the two-tier system is so good, then why did he leave The John Warner School in Hoddesdon to become head teacher at Wootton Upper School over ten years ago? His decision then certainly contradicts his view now, as it seems he was a very keen and ambitious existing head teacher choosing to move from the two-tier system in Hertfordshire to Bedfordshire’s three-tier system!

  2. Helen says:

    I am most heartened to learn that the SMS campaign is considering the legalities of the re-organisation process.

    The apparent way in which the Mayor will take the decision (with his 9 chosen councillors in his cabinet – btw,are any LibDems yet, who form the majority after all?) is unbelievable. This surely warrants investigation?

    I would also like to say the amount of detail and information being presented to the public is minimal. Worst of all, it seems that any figures regarding how and where money will be needed/spent is unimportant – surely the public consultation process should include a financial breakdown to give everyone an idea of costings?

    To go 2-tier is a HUGE undertaking yet nowhere have I seen any detailed planning. At one of the consultation meetings the panel stated that once the decision has been made, then details will emerge! Sorry, but that is like the main political parties asking us to vote for them but saying they’ll give us their manifestos after the election.
    Detail should be demanded. Only then can an informed decision be made.

  3. jonathan parsons says:

    one answer as a upper school head will probaly be on 60k a year, but if gets to be a secondry headmaster wages go to 100k, so easy answer! “money”, and who cares if childrens education gets totaly messed up, as nice pension and when it goes wrong and a nice payout to probaly, as with all jobs if somone says to you if you back this you get a fat wage rise, dont worry if it all goes wrong we can just pass the buck or simply become the mayor of bedford, or better still an mp, as they dont worry eather no i dont think much of the upper school headmasters, and i am sorry to say same in some lower school headmasters to, lets just stick to a damm good system and make it a great one, rather than blow the money on a bad idear, and when the money drys up passit back to us and hope we dont complane to much

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