YOUR LETTERS: Apologies for Gleed turmoil

The Sir John Gleed School
The Sir John Gleed School

As a democratically-elected member of the old governing body at Sir John Gleed School in Spalding – a body which was dismissed by CfBT Schools Trust in November 2015 for not making sufficient progress to improve standards since going into special measures – I would like to personally apologise to all past, present and future students for the turmoil caused when we chose CfBT to be our academy partner.

Our original decision to partner with CfBT was based on a good-working relationship with the sponsor through the local education authority.

We were promised support and expertise to help move the school forward in our change from two schools to comprehensive status with the Post 16 Centre.

We did not use due diligence in reading the small print of the takeover documents.

This lack of scrutiny enabled CfBT to legitimately remove the £3.5million reserves we had saved for future capital work – money that was subsequently used by other less prudent schools in CfBT’s academy chain.

CfBT were again, quite legitimately, able to replace the governing body with its own paid employees, who would, no doubt, do what their paymasters told them.

Since CfBT took over the running of the school, inspections and reports by Ofsted showed little or no progress had been made to improve standards, which led to CfBT being told to divest itself of Sir John Gleed School and others by the Department for Education.

Why then, if the trust was deemed not to have the competency or capacity to run the school effectively, has it been allowed to emasculate the Post 16 Centre and change the name from Sir John Gleed to the Spalding Academy without any public consultation? And where is the £3.5million?

How can it be right to allow unelected people to decide the future of the school and its pupils?

These are my personal views as an individual and I am in no way speaking for my fellow former governors.