Examine the options at open meeting on academy status

Parents, students, teachers and anyone else interested in the proposal to give academy status to Calder High School can attend an open meeting next week.

In November the Department for Education announced plans for the Mytholmroyd school to become a sponsored academy after it received a notice to improve from Ofsted and delivered a disappointing set of GCSE results in the summer.

The public meeting on Thursday, January 17 at Hebden Bridge Town Hall (7.30pm to 9pm) aims to present the pros and cons of academy status to everyone who may be affected by the switch.

Helen Chilton, one of the founding members of the Friends of Calder High and the parent of a pupil there, said: “We want parents, students, staff and anyone who cares about our school to attend.

“It is not remotely an ‘anti-academy’ meeting - people just don’t know what is involved and what the options are. It will give everyone the opportunity to learn more about what it means for a school to become an academy.”

The meeting will be chaired by Dave Boardman and guest speakers are expected to include Alasdair Smith, national secretary of the Anti-Academies Alliance, and Calderdale councillor Ashley Evans.

It is hoped that a representative from the National Union of Teachers will also be able to attend as well as students who will outline what it is like to already be studying at a school that has academy status.

Helen said the school was asking for feedback on the proposal by Friday, January 18, to digest it before its next meeting on the subject on Wednesday, January 23.

She said the room they had hired at the town hall would accommodate up to 70 people but they hoped they might be able to switch to the Waterfront Hall which can hold up to 150.