For immediate use: Monday 4th February 2008
GREEN PARTY SLAMS FLAWED CITY ACADEMY CONSULTATION
The Croydon Green Party calls upon the Council Cabinet Sub Committee to dismiss the results of the City Academy questionnaire (1).
Commenting on the questionnaire results, Green Party spokesperson Shasha Khan said:
“If the Committee genuinely wants a true representation of how local people feel about the proposed City Academy then the council should reopen the public consultation highlighting how successful the present management team has been in taking the school out of special measures and stop being so negative about the school in their presentations. If they want to circulate a questionnaire then the council should ask precise and unambiguous questions like:
Do you support the closure of Coulsdon High School on August 31st 2008 – and its subsequent reopening on 1st September 2008 as Oasis Academy Coulsdon owned by the private sponsor Oasis Trust? YES or NO
Last week the council published results of the consultation questionnaire suggesting that four out five respondents were in favour of the City Academy.
Shasha Khan continued:
“I found the results baffling because I completed the questionnaire and couldn’t remember a question asking if I wanted Coulsdon High School to close and re open as a City Academy.
“Looking back at the questionnaire the only question remotely resembling such a statement is not categoric or definitive and emphasises the development of the Coulsdon High School through Oasis Academy Coulsdon.(2)
“It is clear that the school needs developing. The buildings need modernising. Of course respondents would be in favour of the redevelopment of the site. But to imply that the redevelopment of Coulsdon High can only be achieved through City Academy status is wholly disingenuous.
“A similar exercise run in Southwark to find out how they felt about a proposed City Academy had a much clearer question – asking for a yes, no answer.(3)
“I am hundred per cent convinced that if the questions were more transparent and precise – the results would have been different.
“Its is clear to me that Croydon Council knew they were running on a sticky wicket because the reality is Coulsdon High has come out of special measures with flying colours. In fact contrary to guidelines, City Academy status can only be considered when a school goes into ‘special measures’. This consultation has been carried out after the school has come out of ‘special measures’ (4).
Instead of offering a balanced consultation the council has presented a false context, seemingly depicting a school that is failing in order to meet their preferred conclusion.
“The public meeting with the largest turnout did not even fall within the consultation period so none of the comments there are to be recorded on the final report. Many parents are under the impression they have contributed to the consultation by attending that meeting.”
(1) The committee meets on Wednesday 6th February.
(2)The questionnaire which can still be found online on the Croydon Council web site states:
The development of Oasis Academy Coulsdon at the proposed site of the existing Coulsdon High School, Homefield Road is a good idea.
(4) Ofsted inspectors visited the school in September
Tags croydon, greenparty