'St George's cherry-picked star pupils'

PARENTS opposing plans to close Lafford High School expressed how they felt about the impact the school's federation with St George's College of Technology has had on it.

They described how they had lost trust in principal Paul Watson and claimed he did not have the passion for the school vice-principal Nicola Irvine has.

They are unhappy that for a number of subjects pupils already have to go to St George's, which has had a knock-on effect on pupil numbers at Lafford.

Many parents claim there was cherry-picking of the best for St George's and attempts to put off other parents from sending their children to Lafford High from Year 7. They also felt that the federation scheme should allow pupils to be transferred to the Lafford to help boost their numbers.

Lafford High School has been recognised by Ofsted as making significant improvements in the last three years and, based on Key Stage 3 results, it was in the top 100 schools nationally for contextual value added just last year.

Mr Watson said he had not given up the fight to save the Lafford. He said: "I am very proud of what the school and pupils have achieved. The staff and the children have done fantastically well and I had hoped this would encourage people to send their children here."