Academy plans to be discussed
A school's governors are considering proposals to convert it into an academy.
The plan for Humberstone Junior is to be discussed at a parents meeting tomorrow.
A letter to parents from head teacher Annemarie Williams and chairman of governors, Bronwen Barradell, said there were five reasons for exploring conversion – enhanced freedom in the way it works, more control over curriculum and finances, greater autonomy on development and more opportunities to network.
The Leicester branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) yesterday lobbied parents against the move.
Miss Williams said: "Until we have feedback, there will be no decisions. We're taking our time, but believe there could be advantages to conversion.
"These have been set out in a letter to parents."
Ian Leaver, assistant branch secretary for the National Union of Teachers in Leicester, said: "This is a totally unnecessary move.
"The school has improved in recent years. Throwing that away for some false idea of greater freedoms is a backward step and puts all the great work in jeopardy.
"Humberstone Infants has no plans to become an academy. As the schools share some facilities, we believe this will lead to problems."
Miss Williams said the school would get "technical guidance" on sharing facilities.
The meeting, for parents from both schools, will take place at the junior school from 5pm.
City councillor Barbara Potter, who represents Humberstone ward, was outside the school yesterday to lobby against the change.
She said: "There would be no local accountability for parents if problems arose and no guarantee local children would be able to attend the school as it would set its own admission policy. There are no advantages to this."
Assistant city mayor Vi Dempster said: "While Humberstone Junior has had difficulties in the past, with support from the council, it is now judged to be good.
"We were therefore very surprised to learn the school was considering conversion.
"We were also shocked to find out about the consultation 36 hours before it was due to begin.
"It's extremely important parents find out all the facts about conversion."
Parent Rebecca Bowen, 27, of Humberstone, said: "I can't see the point in doing it and I don't like the idea of giving the head teacher and governors so much power."
Another parent, who did not want to be named, said: "There's no financial reason to be doing this.
"The school won't get any extra funds and there won't be any accountability locally."
Caroline Pywell, 28, who has two children at the infants school, said: "I want to find out more as it could affect my children."
The consultation will end on February 8.
Academies merge, Page 26.