Plea for sponsors to come forward
POTENTIAL sponsors are being urged to come forward if they want to take over some of Staffordshire's under-performing primary schools.
It follows Education Secretary Michael Gove's letter to the county's MPs last month, where he called for 'urgent action' to improve primary schools after a succession of them failed Ofsted inspections.
Mr Gove wants more of these schools to become academies.
Councillor Ian Parry, Staffordshire's cabinet member for education, stressed the local authority could not force schools to take on academy status. But bringing in outside expertise was an option for failing schools.
He added: "We would like to see schools find sponsors. There isn't a queue of sponsors. But if we can find them, we'd love them."
Seven per cent of the county's primaries – 21 schools – are either in special measures or have been served with a notice to improve.
Biddulph North councillor Ian Lawson said he was 'not a great believer' in academies and the county needed to think seriously before going down this route.
He added: "I think we know better what our schools are capable of, rather than Ofsted."