Coventry & Warwickshire

Newbold Riverside school told to 'become an academy'

A Warwickshire primary school has been told to change to academy status by the education secretary, the county's head of education has said.

Newbold Riverside in Rugby is set to become Riverside Academy from the start of next month, sponsored by REAch2.

Warwickshire County Council's Mark Gore said Michael Gove "intervened directly" because of poor Sats exams results.

A number of parents have spoken out against the plans and an NUT spokesman said there had been "no consultation".

Tony Souter from the NUT, who was at a meeting with around 80 parents and staff on Monday, said: "One of the parents was saying they only found out about this by talking to someone at another school.

"There should be proper discussion of these things."

'Very strong sponsor'

Mr Souter said teaching staff had known of the possibility of the school becoming an academy "before the summer holidays" but added the identity of the London-based academy trust as the sponsor was "relatively new".

Mr Gore said school governors, REAch2 and the Department for Education had followed the correct procedures in making the decision.

He said: "My focus is on making sure that the children in Newbold Riverside get the best possible deal and get the best opportunities that they can.

"What we're now talking about is the support of a very strong sponsor and I think one of the lessons that we're learning is that school improvement comes from within school.

"The people that can affect that improvement are the people who've done it.

"That's why I think this sponsor is a good sponsor and this is a good solution to supporting the school to improve."

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