MP in offer to broker Gleed reform talks

PEACE BROKER: John Hayes MP with student representatives at Sir John Gleed School, Spalding.  Photo (TIM WILSON): SG200315-155TW.
PEACE BROKER: John Hayes MP with student representatives at Sir John Gleed School, Spalding. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG200315-155TW.

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes has offered to hold talks about possible changes at a Spalding school that have angered some students.

Mr Hayes came out in support of students opposed to Sir John Gleed School being renamed Spalding Academy when it becomes part of the South Lincolnshire Academies Trust (SLAT) from September 1.

You can’t have a morning full of lessons and just one in the afternoon as too much work would be piled on you in a short space of time

Ex-student of Sir John Gleed School Liam Thirkell (17) of Pinchbeck

An online petition launched by student Jordan Wignell (15) described plans by Bourne Academy, due to take over the running of Sir John Gleed School from the CfBT Schools Trust, as “unjust and wrong”.

Mr Hayes said: “I’m due to meet members of the SLAT shortly but I share the students’ view about the name of the school being kept.

“When we abandon our ties to the past, we lose our sense of local identity and I want to strengthen our ties to our traditions, not weaken them.

“It’s right that we consider new ideas, but I’m very committed to the name Gleed which is an important part of the school’s history and therefore something that should be kept.”

Jordan’s petition described plans to scrap the current system of forms or year groups at Sir John Gleed School as a “huge mistake”, while a idea to increase the number of morning lessons from three to four were branded as “ridiculous”.

Ex-student Liam Thirkell (17) of Pinchbeck said: “Students being mixed into different year groups is a bad idea because it will cause too much tension between everyone in the form.

“You may not like everyone in your form but at least they’re all your age and probably going through a lot of the stuff you’re going through like being in the same lessons and doing the same work.

“Some older people might help the younger ones coming in but it will mostly be awkward which is definitely not good for the new kids coming in who are trying to make friends,

“Also, you can’t have a morning full of lessons and just one in the afternoon as too much work would be piled on you in a short space of time.

“You need to space out the school day, not have all your lessons in the morning and then one in the afternoon as there’s no structure to the day and it just messes with how people work.

“You might as well use the whole day and teach the lessons properly, rather than getting them all done and dusted for no reason.”

Mr Hayes said: “In terms of the other changes, that’s really a matter for further discussion and I’m very happy to have that discussion with the SLAT.

“There are inevitably going to be mixed views about it, but let’s have a conversation with parents, teachers and students all involved in that conversation.”

Gleed students in protest over Bourne identity