Bunyan Baptist Church, Basils Road SG1 3PY

Wednesday January 9



Many will have read the recent articles in the Stevenage Comet concerning the compulsory academisation of Barclay School Stevenage against the wishes of almost everyone concerned with the school.  That is, other than our conservative MP and the circling Future Academies Trust which is in line to take control of the school if not successfully opposed.

Hands Off Barclay is an independent community campaign started by parents of Barclay pupils concerned about the forced academisation of the school.   Despite their repeated requests for assistance in stopping or at a minimum discussing this unwanted imposition by the Department for Education, neither our MP nor Future Academies Trust have met or spoken with constituents/parents since Future Academies trust was selected.

This is not so surprising since our MP tends to avoid participating in other matters of direct interest to Stevenage constituents such as town centre regeneration meetings and is personally responsible for creating delays in the adoption of Stevenage town plan despite its prior and public  commendation by government appointed inspectors.

Josh Lovell, Herts  County Councillor (LP)  will chair the meeting.  Jill Borcherds (Barclays teacher, Prospective Parliamentary candidate (LP)) will attend the meeting in her role as NEU representative; Kevin Courtney (Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union) and  Alastair Smith, National Secretary of the Anti-Academies Alliance will also speak.

Hopefully our MP will now engage with his constituents too?  Perhaps also some directors of Future Academies trust such as Lord Nash, former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools and now Chairman  of Future Academies Trust or Lara Newman, director of Future Academies and also executive director of LocatEd, a government owned property company.  Parents, pupils and organisers of the meeting would welcome their attendance .


Barclay School Academisation – Background

July 2016 Ofsted Inspection
October 2016 Ofsted Report published – Inadequate – School placed in Special Measures


Dec 2016 Senior team left Barclay – Headteacher, Deputy Head, 2 x Assistant Headteachers
January 2017 Interim leadership team in place:

Executive Headteacher – Martin Brown (Hitchin Boys)

Headteacher – Mark Allchorn        Deputy Headteacher – Lauren Phillips

Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust identified as sponsor to form Academy on 1st Sept 2017

Barclay to be the flagship secondary school of the newly formed MAT but this did not happen.


Herts for Learning MAT now includes primary schools only.

March 2017 Mark Allchorn appointed as permanent Headteacher

Lauren Phillips appointed as permanent Deputy Headteacher

Sept 2017 First monitoring visit from Ofsted https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/2732697

“Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.”

“The foundations for rapid improvement are being established but new strategies are at an early stage of implementation.”

April 2018 Second monitoring visit from Ofsted, converted to full Ofsted Inspection.


School judged Requires Improvement – Special Measures removed

Personal development, behaviour and welfare – Good, 16 to 19 study programmes – Good

First strength noted: “Determined senior leadership is making a positive difference to the quality of education that the school provides.”

June 2018 Staff informed that Academy Order still in place and Future Academies identified as sponsor.
October 2018 8.10.18 Letter to Parents with update on Academy Order stating that Future Academies identified as sponsor but that governors are seeking further clarification on what relationship could look like.
Nov 2018 1.11.18 Article in Comet with statements from Chair of Governors and DfE in the online version.


October 2018 8.10.18 Letter from Headteacher to current parents stating that Future identified as sponsor for Barclay to become Academy but that, “Our governors are continuing to seek clarification of what this relationship could look like”.
1.11.18 Article in Comet with statements from Chair of Governors and DfE in the online version http://www.thecomet.net/news/education/stevenage-s-barclay-school-academy-plans-1-5760726
8.11.18 Hands Off Barclay community meeting
Chaired by local Labour HCC Councillor Josh Bennett Lovell; speakers Jean Roberts (Anti- Academies Alliance) and Jill Borcherds (Barclay School NEU rep)
Hands Off Barclay Campaign started by parents.
20.11.18 Petition set up on change.org by parents http://chng.it/45qnJTyJ
10.12.18 Delivery of petition of 1500+ signatures to DfE
12.12.18 Strike action took place. School closed for the day. https://www.thecomet.net/news/education/stevenage-s-barclay-school-academy-petition-taken-to-westminster-1-5813916
21.12.18 All staff received notification that date of conversion is to be 1st February 2019


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