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Simon Langton Girls' School in Canterbury requests review of its own academy vote

A grammar school’s controversial decision to switch to academy status is now being investigated by education bosses, KentOnline can reveal.

Governors at Simon Langton Girls' Grammar in Canterbury have requested a review of their own voting procedure following a furious backlash from a group of parents. 

The governing body voted in November last year to form a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and to sponsor struggling Spires Academy within the proposed trust.

Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School
Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School

But Kent County Council has confirmed that the “process they followed” was being checked – following a request from governors themselves.

It is understood that by ‘process’, KCC is referring to the voting procedure itself.

But it is not known what could result should the vote be found to be flawed – as such a request is thought to be unprecedented.

A KCC spokesman said: “The governing body has asked KCC to check whether the process they followed to agree to academise and subsequently for Spires to join their MAT followed the correct procedure.

The school sign at Simon Langton Girls Grammar School
The school sign at Simon Langton Girls Grammar School

“A number of parents have written to us as well as to the school and the Department of Education.”

The revelation comes as Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today signified a government climb-down on the academies issue.

A government white paper had previously suggested state schools would eventually be forced to convert to academies should they not do so voluntarily.

Ms Morgan said: "We absolutely support those strong local authorities where schools are good and outstanding - they can make the choice to convert.

"I hope that they will, because we are convinced that becoming academies does lift standards but they can do the right thing for them and I think that reflects the concerns and the conversations that we have had."

Langton parents have suggested that headteacher Jane Robinson had attempted to use the white paper to justify the proposed change – though she has denied this.

Mrs Robinson had yesterday sent a no holds barred letter condemning a minority of parents involved in the campaign against its plans. 

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