'Emergency demonstration' to be held outside Stevenage school after news of head's departure

PUBLISHED: 16:57 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:07 28 February 2019

Stevenage county councillor Joshua Bennett Lovell - pictured second from left with fellows Hands Off Barclay campaigners - is holding an emergency demonstration outside Barclay Academy tomorrow morning. Picture: Courtesy of Jill Borcherds

Stevenage county councillor Joshua Bennett Lovell - pictured second from left with fellows Hands Off Barclay campaigners - is holding an emergency demonstration outside Barclay Academy tomorrow morning. Picture: Courtesy of Jill Borcherds

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A Stevenage county councillor will hold an 'emergency demonstration' outside Barclay Academy tomorrow morning in response to the news headteacher Mark Allchorn will be leaving at Easter.

Barclay headteacher Mark Allchorn will leave the Stevenage school at Easter. Picture: DANNY LOOBarclay headteacher Mark Allchorn will leave the Stevenage school at Easter. Picture: DANNY LOO

Councillor Joshua Bennett Lovell, who represents the Stevenage Old Town ward for Herts County Council, says he has “no confidence” in the leadership of Future Academies Trust – which took over the running of the school on February 1 – following the decision.

Dr Matthew Laban has already been appointed to replace Mr Allchorn by FAT.

Speaking to the Comet, Mr Lovell said: “Publicly, I want to thank Mr Allchorn for everything he has done for the local school community since taking on the challenging role over two years ago.

“He has proven that with energy and vision, massive school improvement within the local authority is achievable, winning the trust and respect of so many parents and carers in the process. I wish him the very best for what he has planned next, and fully respect his reasons for departing the school at this time.

“However, I now want to state on public record that I have no confidence in the decision-making process applied to convert the school, and no confidence in the leadership of Future Academies Trust in making impartial decisions which will affect our community. No-one can honestly assess this situation and arrive at any other conclusion.

“I am holding an emergency demonstration at the school gates tomorrow morning – at 7.30am – and I welcome the whole town’s attendance. Our MP and FAT must be held accountable for the damage done to our community. We must demand an immediate public inquiry into this decision, with the option to bring our school back into local authority control if the decision has been found unfair or to have been biased.”

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