Campaigners hoping to halt the academisation of Littlegreen School in Compton have vowed not to give up despite a decision from the school’s management to press ahead with the conversion.
The school for boys with autism and other special educational needs was referred to Solent Academies Trust after an Ofsted inspection last November said Littlegreen had ‘serious weaknesses’.
Parents opposed to the change called a public meeting on Thursday, with the support of the NEU, calling for the chair of the school’s interim executive board, Patrick Cummings, to call for a full reinspection of the school and ask for the academy order to be revoked by the regional school’s commisioner.
But the board refused, writing that the improvments at the school to date would be ‘enhanced’ by the academy conversion.
The letter, published on the school website this week, read: “The joint professional judgement is that there are presently no exceptional circumstances to apply for the RSC to revoke the academy order, or to request an early full inspection by Ofsted, and therefore the school will continue the process of converting to academy status.”
Hayley Rose, from Bognor, set up a petition for reinspection, which now has more than 1,420 signatures.
The group believes the conversion will cause disruption for the boys, who are particularly sensitive to change and headteacher Pam Ridgwell should be given longer to continue improvements, as the original inspection came after she had been in post for just eight weeks.
A monitoring visit has also noted ‘effective action’ to date.
“We’re not going to give up,” Hayley said. “We don’t want this to happen, it’s so unnecessary.”
She added that she was not happy that Alison Beane, the executive headteacher of Solent Academies Trust, was one of the four members of the interim executive board.
The school is now due to convert on January 1.