7th November 2008 at 00:00

I want to challenge the view that parents in Sheffield have given an "overwhelmingly positive response" to academy proposals ("Does X hit the spot in academy consultations?", TES, October 24).

The 70 per cent Yes vote for an academy at Parkwood High needs to be understood in its real context. Anti-academy campaigners were given two weeks' notice of the ballot and were refused access to parents' addresses. Many parents we encountered expressed surprise that the issue was controversial, had no idea about the change of governance an academy involved, and believed they were simply being asked to approve spending a lot of money on a new building.

It is remarkable that we were able to persuade 30 per cent to vote against an academy on principle. This result leaves us confident that we can see off any bids to push through academies.

The council has given assurances that it intends to ballot every school wishing to become a trust or an academy. Heads and governors going down this route now know that they will have a fight on their hands.

Ben Morris, Sheffield Anti-Academies Alliance, Yorkshire.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today