SURREY Council is planning the "privatisation" of a third school in two years, despite fierce opposition from parents, who claim the plan is a political experiment.
Conservative-controlled Surrey is considering handing Abbeylands school, in Addlestone, near Woking, over to private management next year. The 541-pupil school had the county's worst GCSE results last year and, says the council, needs hundreds more pupils to be financially viable.
The council favours a link-up with an "external partner", that would enable a foundation or voluntary-aided school to be established under new management.
The proposal mirrors what happened at the former Kings' Manor school, in Guildford, which re-opened as Kings' College last year, and France Hill, Camberley, which is to be called Kings' International when i is relaunched in the autumn.
Both are under the management of 3Es, the non-profit-making private arm of Kingshurst City Technology College, Solihull.
Alison Hall, spokesperson for the Abbeylands Parents' Action Group, said:
"Where is the evidence that privatisation works? Kings' College has only just opened."
Those backing the county's plans will have been cheered by news from Kings' College this week following a positive mini-inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectors. New principal David Crossley was described as an "inspirational leader", while inspectors said pupils had good working attitudes and were well-behaved.
However, two of the 22 lessons observed were unsatisfactory. In the last inspection before the school was "privatised", all teaching was found to be satisfactory.