Editor’s comment: Outwood academies must listen to parents’ concerns

Outwood Academy Valley, Worksop.
Outwood Academy Valley, Worksop.

There is no doubt that Outwood Grange Academies Trust has transformed the fortunes of its two academies in Worksop.

A pair of previously struggling secondary schools have been dragged upwards, with improved exam results across the board.

Outwood Academy Portland went from failing to outstanding in just two years - one of the quickest turn arounds ever according to the Government.

And last year Portland celebrated a phenomenal year of GCSE results, with a high percentage of students achieving the very difficult new performance measure.

All of this should be celebrated. But it is clear that parents of some pupils at the schools are concerned about the methods being used to achieve these results, and the disciplinary measures involved.

They have set up a Facebook page called ‘Outwood Academy - Unhappy parents of pupils’ and are calling for emergency talks.

Parents claim exclusions and detentions had been given for ‘looking out the window during a science exam’, ‘accidentally dropping a discus during a PE lesson’ and for ‘wearing the wrong socks’.

The social media group has received more than 1,300 ‘likes’ in three weeks and the Guardian understands that the academies are aware of it.

It is now vital that the academies’ leadership recognises these concerns and makes every effort to take parents with them on their journey.

The turnarounds at the academies are nothing short of remarkable - and are a real Worksop success story.

It would be a pity if some parents felt unable to celebrate and welcome this achievement.

Fed up’ Outwood parents to hold emergency talks and set-up Facebook group