A leading Labour Councillor has demanded an apology from the Government and an investigation after the academy chain The Griffin Trust was today informed it would be stripped of running Stantonbury International school.

The school, which had built a reputation in the past for alternative teaching methods, was forced to become an academy in 2016. At the time it rated as “Requires Improvement,” and OFSTED had reported that the school was taking “effective action.” However, the Department of Education forced the school’s conversation to an academy.

However, since becoming an academy and being rebranded as “Stantonbury International” by the trust, standards at the school have fallen and the school is now rated as “Inadequate.”

At the time of being forced to become an academy the school had debts of over £700,000 which Milton Keynes Council was forced to pay from reserves.

Now Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, is demanding that the school is returned to local authority control and will be writing to government Ministers to request an apology. She will also ask for an investigation into why they have let the children of Milton Keynes down over a four year period and why hundreds of thousands of pounds were wasted in doing so.

Cllr Zoe Nolan said: “The failure of The Griffin Trust is shocking and highlights that turning schools into academies does nothing to improve standards. Milton Keynes Council will demand the school is returned to local control so we can rebuild trust and standards. We want Stantonbury Campus back as a locally run school.”

She continued: “The children and parents in Milton Keynes have been let down by years of inaction by OFSTED, the Department for Education and our Conservative MPs who simply wanted to ignore the problem because it suited their ideology of turning school into academies. The taxpayers of Milton Keynes were forced to pay £700,000 to turn the school into an academy, now I think we are owed an apology for years of failures to tackle this issue.”

Cllr Zoe Nolan outside Stantonbury International School
Cllr Zoe Nolan outside Stantonbury International School

She concluded: “Staff at the school are working very hard right now and it must be a difficult time. Government ideology and management have let them down and has let our children down. It’s time to return the school to local control and accountability.”

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