HPSPC News Update - 27th March 2022
Updated: May 29, 2022
Without consultation and engagement the Governing Body of Holland Park School (HPS) has chosen for the school to join a Multi-Academy Trust, the largest one in England, United Learning. This decision was made without elected parent governors present.
This situation led to the formation of the Holland Park School Parent Collective (HPSPC) and has resulted in the current status as numbered below. You will also find further information throughout the website (see the Timeline of Events on the About page for instance), and blogs on specific meetings or subjects amongst the general blog articles.
Please note that the Collective has only been in existence since March 1st 2022 and is growing in an organic, fluid way without any specific person or people driving the narrative. All parents and their voices are welcome.
1. Our legal sub-group is hard at work: They have advice from counsel on serving a letter before action, but an additional angle is to apply for a judicial review and believe there are grounds for doing so. To begin the process we need to work out the viability of raising necessary funds, which could amount to £10,000 - but the good news is we are nearly half way. There is no need to collect anything now, but if you are able to pledge to the fund, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate the amount of your pledge by Tuesday. All information is in confidence. The biggest contribution of course is being part of the collective and we’re grateful for all parents coming together to resist these significant and irreversible changes to the legal status and culture of HPS.
2. See the blog about the RBKC Family Services Committee meeting and their subsequent letter here.
3. A LBKC Learning Review questionnaire was sent via the school to parents on Friday evening. We are confirming with RBKC whether they are seeking views on present safeguarding or a more general view, given current concerns about behaviour under the regime of the new governors and interim headteacher. You can email email@example.com and we will let you know if we receive further information.
4. Felicity Buchan MP is also questioning the decision to move HPS into a large multi-academy trust; she will be holding a special session on HPS next week (tbc: update soon) or follow news here.
5. Representatives for the teachers union the NEU have been actively engaging with teachers at school this week. Many feel they have not been sufficiently consulted and are alarmed at the prospect of changes in their employment terms and conditions if legal and financial responsibility for HPS passes to United Learning. The TUPE process (a legal obligation for meaningful consultation when an organisation transfers from one employer to another) should run alongside due diligence carried out by UL Trust at the school. We have yet to receive more information about due diligence and the presence of UL at the school.
6. Applications for a new headteacher closed on 22 March and the Governors are currently sifting candidates following a short two-week application window. We do not know who is involved in selecting the head, what role UL is taking in the process, or what the expected timescales are.
7. Meaningful stakeholder engagement: We have requested full details of the format and content of the consultation process, which Jane Farrell has promised to provide in writing next week. We hope there is also clarity about how all views will be published and assessed for the report that is made to the Regional Schools Commissioner (who makes an initial decision on whether HPS should transfer to the United Learning Trust).
8. Letters: We continue to write letters and request information. For example, we requested access to Board Minutes on 4 March and are still waiting. Parents inside and outside the Collective continue to write to all decision-makers involved as a matter of urgency.
You can write to:
the Chair of Governors (firstname.lastname@example.org),
the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) Dame Kate Dethridge (email@example.com),
Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Warwick Sharp (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the Notice to Improve (NtI);
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi via the Department of Education (DfE) (this decision may be referred upwards by the RSC);
local MP Felicity Buchan - or whoever your local MP is;
Amanda Spielman, Chair of Ofsted (email@example.com)
10. We will continue to use Whatsapp to exchange information and ideas while we also transition to email to provide updates and an opportunity for parents to ask questions directly. Please get in touch and pass on our email address to as many parents as you can.