MP Marie Rimmer has challenged the Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb MP, to explain why the right of parents with children in schools rated as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted are apparently being eroded in the new Education and Adoption Bill.
The St Helens South and Whiston MP wants to know why under the new Bill there will be no requirement for these parents to be consulted when their children’s school is subject to an Academy Order converting it to academy status.
Marie raised the issue during questions in the House of Commons [June 15th] asking the Minister: “When a school has been rated inadequate by Ofsted and is therefore subject to an academy order, the Government say there will be no requirement to consult on conversion to academy status. With that in mind, what are the merits of removing the right of parents to be consulted, and how does that sit with the Government’s rhetoric on accountability to parents?”
Schools Minister Nick Gibb replied that the new Education and Adoption Bill “is designed to ensure that those groups of people who are ideologically opposed to academisation are not allowed to disrupt or delay the process of academisation”.
Following the exchange, Marie later commented: “The rating of a school by Ofsted should not be used to void the rights of parents to be fairly consulted on proposed conversion to an academy. I want a level playing field on consultation for all parents of schoolchildren. Is consultation with parents one of the ‘legal and bureaucratic loopholes’ to which the Secretary of State recently referred.”