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Dad ready to defy Spalding Grammar School over term-time Sea Cadets course

Dad Mick Flindall just wants an amicable conversation with head Steven Wilkinson. SG050218-104TW
Dad Mick Flindall just wants an amicable conversation with head Steven Wilkinson. SG050218-104TW

A dad is asking Spalding Grammar School’s chairman of governors to intervene so his son can go on a Sea Cadets course linked to his future career in the Navy.

Mick Flindall (55), from Sutton Bridge, says his son, Year 9 pupil Alfie (14), has been selected go on a weapons training course at HMS Caledonia, attached to Rosyth Royal Navy base, during school-term time in mid-March.

But the school says Alfie can’t go.

Mick is ready to defy the school – by letting Alfie attend his course – but hopes instead there will be an amicable solution.

Mick says: “The head (Steven Wilkinson) says that there’s no exceptional circumstances but I can’t think of anything more exceptional than being one of eight from across the UK having been selected for a course.

“It’s not going away on holiday, it’s a national thing he’s been selected for.”

Alfie hasn’t started GCSEs and Mick doesn’t believe a week out of school will affect his academic progress, particularly as Alfie is prepared to make up for lost time during the Easter holidays.

The dad says he’s tried since Friday, January 26 to have a conversation with Mr Wilkinson but the head has declined to speak to him, despite Mick making phone calls and going to the school, sitting in reception for one or two hours last Tuesday afternoon.

He said: “I have since received a letter from him saying he will have no further communication on this matter, which I find quite surprising considering we have had no communication.”

Yesterday Mick wasn’t giving up hope and said: “I have written to the chairman of governors, Alan Faulkner, to see if he can facilitate an amicable meeting with the head.”

Mick’s own father was head of a string of schools, including the former King Edward VII Grammar School in King’s Lynn, and Mick told us: “He’s saying that nobody can reasonably say that this is going to affect Alfie’s academic progress because he’s not even started his GCSEs yet.”

The Lincolnshire Free Press asked Mr Wilkinson for a comment but he declined to do so.

Mick says Alfie has got his life mapped out and wants to attend Welbeck Military College for his A-levels before hopefully gaining a bursary for university and then go straight to Dartmouth Royal Naval College.

“He wants to be a warfare officer on board ships,” said Mick. “It’s the one in charge of all the weapons.”

Mick says Alfie has attended courses before during school holidays and it’s unfortunate this one is in term time.

He says the school is saying it’s “not educational enough” while he believes it is, and there is a direct link between the course and Alfie’s chosen career.

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