Sunday, 18 November 2012

Keep Shelley Pyramid win campaign

Flockton Working Mens Club - venue for Kirkburton Parish Councils meeting on Shelley Academy proposals

It has been the major issue affecting our area this year and the Green Party is pleased that the non political and highly effective Keep Shelley Pyramid campaign has been successful. Proposals from the Principal and Governing Body of Shelley Academy to extend their intake to years 7 and 8 were rightly seen as a threat to the future of the middle school system. The proposal was made unilaterally with no consultation with the middle or first schools.

Councillor Robert Barraclough said, “All credit must go to the local people behind the Keep Shelley Pyramid campaign. They organised the meetings, the marches, the lobbying of politicians and the impressive social media campaign. It was local people that won it!”

The end of the Shelley Academy proposal finally came following an Extraordinary Kirkburton Parish Council meeting called on the 15th of November at Flockton Working Mens Club. Passionate speeches were made by members of the Keep Shelley Pyramid campaign defending the middle schools excellent education record for local children. Shelley Principal John McNally was in attendance and after he spoke Councillor Andrew Cooper informed him that the Parish Council were considering holding a Parish Poll, a referendum, to allow people to say whether they were for or against the Shelley Academy proposals. Councillor Cooper went on to ask Mr McNally whether he would advise his Governing Body to abide by the result of the poll. Mr McNally agreed. The following day, as news spread, MP Simon Reevell, having received over a thousand letters from local people, gave his backing to the Keep Shelley Pyramid campaign,

In a statement put out by Simon Reevell MP he said,

“At a Parish Council meeting held last night Mr McNally indicated that if there were to be a poll or referendum on the proposals he would advise his governors that they ought to respect the result of that process. I think that he was right to say that but it was a significant concession. It would mean that the college would not pursue the plan if the majority of those affected did not support it, whatever the college believed the educational advantages to be. In other words, they would not be saying that any educational advantage was sufficient to justify the plan whatever the level of opposition.”

He went on to say

“This morning I telephoned Mr McNally and informed him of the volume of correspondence that I have had and suggested that in light of it there was little point in putting the Council to the trouble and cost of a ballot.”

Shortly afterwards Mr McNally informed the press that he was recommending to the Governing Body that the Shelley Academy proposals were withdrawn.

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