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Petition started to save Basingstoke school from becoming an academy

Picture credited to the Friends of St Anne's Catholic Primary School group

The Breeze can exclusively reveal a group of parents at a school in Basingstoke have started a petition to stop it from being turned into an academy.

The future of St Anne's Catholic Primary School appears to be uncertain, after the school was recently given an inadequate rating in its latest Ofsted inspection.

There are now plans for academisation, but that's been criticised by both staff and the mums and dads of the pupils there.

Elaine Ashcroft is from the Friends of St Anne's Catholic Primary School group - she's been speaking to us about their concerns:

"We know that academisation has mixed results elsewhere.

"We'll lose control of our important decisions and we could lose our best teachers who are fantastic - they are second to none and go above and beyond.

"The teachers are in a very difficult position because the leadership team is not allowed to obstruct this process in any way, shape or form - and we understand and respect that."

Elaine's told us many people are unhappy at the planned change:

"There's a massive group of us who are unhappy.

"We only really found about the Ofsted result last week and we didn't fully understand it, but now we're aware of its implications."

You can hear more from Elaine in the video below.

In response, Hampshire County Council has told us it would be inappropriate to comment on individual school circumstances.

However, the council says the legislation in place for Ofsted inspections is 'very clear'.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said:

“Hampshire County Council has always taken a stance of neutrality around academisation and believes that the decision about whether to become an academy or not is best taken locally by the school and its governing body.

“Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment on the individual circumstances at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School.

“The legislation is very clear, however. When a school is judged by Ofsted to require significant improvement or special measures, an ‘academy order’ is made by the Regional Schools Commissioner, meaning that the school and its governing body must convert to an academy and take the necessary steps to achieve this”.

You can read the petition which has been set up here. 

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