Parents being ‘bullied’ into finding children a new school

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FAMILIES at The Durham Free School say they are being bullied into committing to new schools for their children.

Parents and staff were left outraged this week when Education Secretary Nicky Morgan confirmed she was terminating the school’s funding agreement, meaning it would have to close.

The Free School remains open as normal while parents mount a growing campaign to fight for its future. This week, Durham County Council sent out letters to parents inviting them to choose an alternative school for their child by January 28, yet the school has been given until February 3 to make representations to the Secretary of State.

Acting headteacher Julian Eisner said: “These letters were followed up on Thursday with telephone calls, which some parents have described as “aggressive”, asking them to state on the phone which school they would like to transfer their child to and offering a very rapid turnaround.”

Mum Jenny Denning said: “A council working at that pace suggests to me they had been briefed in advance. Parents feel bullied and it’s only adding to anxiety at an already difficult time. Most parents don’t know if they’re coming or going.”