Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

There Was No Rule-Breaking; Merger Vote above Board - Governors

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

There Was No Rule-Breaking; Merger Vote above Board - Governors

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicola Weatherall? 0191 204 3308 ?

GOVERNORS at a state-funded primary school have strongly denied claims they acted inappropriately over proposals to merge with a private school in our region.

North Tyneside Council has raised fears that some members of the governing body at Priory Primary did not declare "pecuniary and conflicts of interest" during the consultation process.

The primary school is planning to form an academy with the independent King's School in Tynemouth this September, which would see it being funded by central government and the PS3,300-per-term fees dropped.

The Journal understands the council was concerned a number of governors who have relatives working at King's, or children at the school, were directly involved in the voting process.

Gill Alexander, strategic director for children, young people and learning for the council, has written to parents saying these governors should have removed themselves from key decision-making during the consultation.

She stated: "We have persistently raised concerns about the consultation process, the accuracy of the financial information relied upon and the decision-making exercise conducted by the governing body. In particular, the authority considered that individual governors with pecuniary and conflicts of interest did not properly declare those interests and remove themselves from decision-making in connection with the proposals."

As a result, the council demanded the governors at Priory reconsidered "its key decision in relation to pursuing academy status" and that individuals with conflicts of interest would not be able to participate in any voting.

The governing body agreed to do this and to supply the local authority with minutes from the meeting.

The meeting was held earlier this week and the governors voted unanimously in favour of the merger going ahead. …

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