Worksop: ‘Fed up’ Outwood parents to hold emergency talks and set-up Facebook group

Outwood Academy Valley, Worksop.
Outwood Academy Valley, Worksop.

‘Fed up’ parents of children who attend two schools in Worksop are set to hold emergency talks and have set-up a Facebook group which criticises ‘unfair’ discipline.

Concerned parents at Outwood Academy Valley and Outwood Academy Portland say that punishments handed down ‘far outweigh the crime’.

Posts on the ‘Outwood Academy - Unhappy parents of pupils’ group say that exclusions and detentions had been given for ‘looking out the window during a science exam’, ‘accidently dropping a discus during a PE lesson’ and for ‘wearing the wrong socks’.

The page states: “We are not here to cause trouble or change the laws of the land, just to try to make people understand that sometimes the punishment far outweighs the crime in these academies and focus is often too much on uniform and discipline and not enough on education.”

The academies have said that parents have been been invited into both schools and have met with associate executive principal Dr Phil Smith to address their issues.

Latest GCSE exam results at both academies placed them in the top five per cent of the country and Outwood Academy Portland has been recognised as the fastest turn-around for a secondary school ever, going from ‘special measures’ to ‘outstanding’.

The social media group has received more than 1.300 ‘likes’ in three weeks and the Guardian understands that the academies are aware of it.

Possible venues for the parents-only meeting are now being considered.

“This page is for parents of children that attend Outwood Academies and have concerns regarding the welfare and education or their children,” it says.

“We are not staff of the school or governors. Just normal people who are fed up of trying to battle issues within the school where we feel our children are treated unfairly. Many parents have voiced that they feel like they have lost parental responsibilities over their children and the schools have taken over.”

The page has also received national attention with parents whose children attend other academies across the country commenting.

One local parent wrote: “Now I am beginning to think I have terribly behaved children. I have a 14-year-old at home who has been excluded due to a personal issue regarding her body which definitely does not deserve an exclusion and now I am picking up my 12-year-old who has been excluded for two days because she has failed consequences by turning around. This is three days learning missed by my two children as no work has been given for either of them. Surely this is wrong?”

And a former pupil of Outwood Valley posted: “If it is like this now when I have been left two years, then what is it going to be like in a few years time?”