The Department of Education has confirmed a order to make Littlegreen School in Compton an academy could be lifted in ‘very exceptional circumstances’.
A petition to prevent the special school from becoming part of Solent Academies Trust already has 680 signatures.
Littlegreen, which caters for boys aged seven to 16 with social, emotional and mental health needs, was referred to the academy sponsor after being rated inadequate by Ofsted.
But parents are concerned the move is premature given improvements at the school and say it would be very unsettling for pupils who are sensitive to changes in routine and staff.
Asked about whether the academy order could be revoked, the DoE said the Regional Schools Commissioner could stop an academy conversion if ‘sufficient’ improvements were made.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Children only get one chance at education so it is right that action is taken when standards have fallen.
“Littlegreen School was rated inadequate by Ofsted so the department has identified a new sponsor - Solent Academies Trust - to work with the school and bring about the rapid and sustained improvement required.
“Solent Academies Trust specialises in the leadership and management of special schools and has extensive experience of working with schools such as Littlegreen.”
The department added: “The power to revoke an academy order is discretionary.
“The Regional Schools Commissioner can exercise this power on behalf of the Secretary of State in very exceptional circumstances if the governing body requests the Academy Order be revoked.
“If a school is re-inspected following an ‘inadequate’ judgement and is subsequently judged to have improved adequately in both standards and leadership, the RSC could consider whether the Academy Order should be revoked.
“However, any decision is taken on a case-by-case basis and the RSC would need to be assured the school is improving sufficiently.”
Read the orginal article here: https://www.chichester.co.uk/news/parents-fight-to-stop-special-school-becoming-academy-1-8455765