Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Deansbrook School Conversion to Academy status - Done as a DPR!

There is a DPR on the Council website which truly astounded me today.

It says :-

1964 - Deansbrook Junior School Conversion to Academy status – Commercial Transfer Agreement and Lea

Decision maker: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No


Deansbrook Junior School, a Community School, has been approved by the Secretary of State to convert to an Academy.  As part of the conversion process, the Council, the Governing Body of the School and the Academy Trust are required to execute a Commercial Transfer Agreement.
The Council is also required to grant a lease of the land and buildings used by the Deansbrook Junior School to the Academy Trust and this report sets out the terms of the lease. 
Publication date: 21/03/2013
Date of decision: 14/03/2013
Accompanying Documents:
1964 - Deansbrook Junior School Conversion to Academy status – Commercial Transfer Agreement and Lea


I understood that DPR's (decisions taken outside of democratic control) were supposed to be used only for minor decisions which didn't affect many people. The conversion of a school to an academy will affect thousands of Barnet residents for years to come. It also involves the transfer of millions of pounds of real estate. How on earth can the council say "This is not a key decision".  I am even more shocked that the opposition have not called this in.

What is happening to democracy in Barnet? How can decisions affecting millions of pounds worth of assets, which affect hundreds or thousands of people not have democratic scrutiny. From where I am standing, this is just the sort of decision that there should be a debate about. I can quite understand that the Barnet Conservatives see Academies as a flagship policy. I have no doubt that they would have approved this sale. What sticks in my throat is the fact that no one had any opportunity to discuss the issue and ask the council to prove that it is in the best interests of the people of Barnet.

No comments: