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Lib Dem leader slams proposals for selection at Barnfield academies

Proposals by Barnfield Federation to introduce admissions tests for Barnfield West and Barnfield South Academies have been slammed by Liberal Democrat councillors.

Writing to Luton Council’s Director of Children & Learning, Liberal Democrat leader David Franks says he was closely involved in discussions with Barnfield Director Pete Birkett over the establishment of the two Academies in 2007.

“I sought and was given assurances that the admissions and exclusions policies of the academies would be identical to those of other Luton schools. The legal documents completed at the time must now be examined to see whether the assurances I was given were actually part of the deal and whether they can be enforced.”

“If Barnfield are allowed to get away with this they will undermine the whole principle of comprehensive education, will destroy the social benefits of most young people going to their local school and make it much more difficult for the two academies to work co-operatively with other Luton schools.”

“These outrageous Barnfield admissions proposals fly in the face of the agreement I was told we had in 2007. Any unilateral introduction of Admissions Tests must be consigned to the dustbin.”

One comment on “Lib Dem leader slams proposals for selection at Barnfield academies

  1. Cllr Martin Pantling on

    UPDATE: The Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Board, chaired by Liberal Democrat Councillor Doris Hinkley, last night gave full backing to a formal Council objection to Barnfield’s proposals, with several members challenging and questioning a representative of the Federation.

    It was made very clear that Barnfield’s statements about guaranteeing a place for children in the catchment area putting the local Academy as a first choice could not be guaranteed, and carried little weight. Councillors were also unimpressed with plans to give the children of staff members priority over catchment area children, and to “test” children at the start of Year 6.

    Unless the proposals are very much revised, it is fully likely there will be an objection made to a formal Adjudicator on the issue.

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