A GROUP of children are set to be home-schooled by their former teacher following major changes to the teaching of pupils at two primary schools.
The five children from Lapford Primary School have been withdrawn following a long running dispute between parents and leaders of the Chulmleigh Academy Trust.
The dispute revolves around the trust’s decision to move teaching of Year Six pupils at Lapford and East Worlington primary schools to Chulmleigh from next month.
Janet May, who has moved her daughter from the school, said that the plans had been forced through despite widespread opposition.
She said: “They have been incredibly arrogant. They haven’t listened, they haven’t been willing to bend on anything.
“It has all had to be their way or not at all. They said we had a choice as parents but we didn’t.
“This way we can say this is our choice now. We feel this is the only option left.
“It’s really sad that they can’t work with the parents, that they have chosen to work against us.”
The five children will be taught together by their former teacher Mel Powell, who agreed to teach them after losing her job in the reshuffle.
Janet said: “It was a difficult decision to make. It feels like a massive thing taking her out of the education stream but we feel that it’s the best option for them.
“The kids are starting off in a place where the teacher already knows where they are at. She is brilliant. She gets them, she knows how each of them tick.”
Mel, who was on a temporary contract at the time of the restructure, was shocked by the trust’s decision.
She said: “When the parents were so against it and so vocal and so obviously not going to accept it, I was surprised that they kept up with it.
“It’s not just the current Year Six parents that are concerned, it’s parents across the whole school that are concerned.
“I’ve been with the parents all along, but couldn’t say anything because until then I was working with the academy.”
In a statement, Steve Baber, chairman of Chulmleigh Academy Trust board of directors, said the changes were essential to resolve the school’s low academic performance.
He said: “During the consultation period directors attended many meetings with parents and the community and read many written responses to the consultation proposals.
“The issue appears to be that some parents did not agree with the decision of the board which went against some of their own views.
“Achieving high standards for all pupils is our goal and pupil performance supports our need to implement this change.”