Decision delay 'is causing distress and uncertainty'

Published on: 02 May 2017

THE delay over selecting a new permanent sponsor for Winterbourne International Academy came under fire from parents and councillors.

Parent Debbie Porteous and Lib Dem Councillor Claire Young, who has a child due to start at the academy this year, said the hold-up was having an impact on students, families, staff and school leaders.

It was causing uncertainty and distress, especially for those children due to make the critical transition from primary school in the summer, Ms Porteous told the South Glos CAH meeting.

Ms Young said parents and children were concerned after being told the decision about which trust should take over from The Ridings Federation would be after the start of the 2017-18 academic year.

Nigel Varley, from the National Union of Teachers, said: “The whole Ridings saga is an absolute tragedy.”

Jo Thomas, deputy director of the office of the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), said the RSC needed to see the exam results for WIA and for the schools in the two trusts providing support, CSET and Olympus, first. “We need to see the outcomes and impact. Winterbourne presents many challenges. We don’t want to undermine the strength or capacity of those two trusts by approving a sponsor match without being assured they are able to deliver,” she said.

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