Teachers and parents gather to discuss future of education in Gloucester schools
PARENTS, teachers, governors and unions gathered to discuss the future of education in Gloucester.
A meeting was held at Gloucester Academy on Thursday, where the advantages of academies were debated.
Academies remain state-funded but they get their funding directly, rather than through the local authority.
Head of Gloucester Academy John Reilly said he preferred having the freedom to make decisions for his own school.
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He said: "I like the idea of choosing where the school can best spend the funding and resources, which pupils can fully benefit from."
"It is good to have the autonomy but accountability measures also need to be put into place.
"A local grammar school has recently written to inform me that they have increased their admission places by four. A couple of years ago there would have been a process to follow."
Longlevens Junior School is considering becoming an academy next year.
Headteacher Dave Smith said: "It is tempting to tick that box and get the extra funding for each pupil. We can then ask parents where they think the money should be best spent. However, I do think that schools should help one another, support one another. It should be school-to-school support. We should not be competing but instead helping each other and there should be no barriers."
Another issue which was raised was school inspection body Ofsted.
Debbie Bearfoot, from the NASUWT teachers' union, said: "As a teacher, I feel like I am jumping through Ofsted hoops.
"When I have a class which is quietly getting on with their coursework, I can go around and help them with their work on a one-to-one basis. But I know that is not going to pass the Ofsted report, because we have to follow criteria.
"But we as teachers know what works best for pupils."