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Foul play claim over schools

PUBLISHED: 15:22 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 13:35 24 August 2010

by Alex Wellman Accusations of foul play were thrown around the council after the full details of a meeting concerning two schools were not disclosed to their own governing bodies. Chair of governors for both John Kelly Boys and Girls T

by Alex Wellman

Accusations of foul play were thrown around the council after the full details of a meeting concerning two schools were not disclosed to their own governing bodies.

Chair of governors for both John Kelly Boys' and Girls' Technology Colleges in Crest Road, Neasden, made an impassioned plea to Brent Council's executive on Monday night after a proposal surrounding land for the new schools was put forward without their knowledge.

Both schools are applying to be turned into academy schools and have requested land next to them be bought to give pupils enough space.

Neither body was aware the executive was set to vote on agreeing to go-ahead with building new schools on the current land, a move which was completely at odds with the schools requests.

Cllr Ralph Fox, chair of governors, John Kelly Boys', said: "I found out last Wednesday that it was on the agenda, I got an email alert which said the executive was on.

"I was not too concerned as I was happy with what I expected to see but when I read it on Thursday morning I was very shocked with what I saw.

"We had a full governing body meeting at John Kelly Boys so I had to inform them and no one was aware of this at all.

"I assume that they wanted to slip this one through without anyone noticing, that could be the only reason for this.

"A rushed decision to force this through quickly, if that had happened I think we would all have felt completely betrayed by this."

The council said that they were not trying to force any decision through without agreement from governing bodies and had simply made a mistake.

John Christie, director of children and families, Brent Council, said: "We are working to very tight timescales set out by PFS (Partnership For Schools), but we acknowledge that it was an oversight on our part and we will be meeting with them shortly to explore all the options."

The executive decided to defer the decision on land until the next meeting but agreed other proposals including renaming the schools The Crest Boys' Academy and The Crest Girls' Academy from September 1 2009.

alex.wellman@archant.co.uk


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