Crunch talks over future of Sunderland’s first free school

Grindon Hall Christian School
Grindon Hall Christian School
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Grindon Hall Christian School governors will hold crunch talks over its future with a Government official today.

The Sunderland Echo revealed last week that bosses at the school claim they are being “rail-roaded” by the Department for Education (DfE) into accepting multi-academy trust Bright Tribe as a sponsor.

The founders say they have concerns Bright Tribe is not suitable and want to see more effort to find a local sponsor.

Governors were due to meet regional schools commissioner Janet Renou last week, but the meeting was postponed until today, so schools minister Lord Nash could respond to the founders’ call for the DfE to reconsider its stance. Founder member John Burn said: “We have some important questions for which we need answers.

“Together with parents, we all want the very best for the children, and we do not have enough information at present to find out if the school would have a secure future with Bright Tribe.

“Grindon Hall is a successful school. This is being imposed upon us without real choice

“It’s a case of take it or leave it and decide quickly. That is not fair on governors, staff, parents and children.”

Parents have written to Mrs Renou separately asking that she take into account “the very strong feelings of Grindon Hall parents”.