Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Academies Enterprise Trust 'appalling behaviour' claim over Sandown Bay

Image caption Parents and children held protests against the merger

A trust that runs a troubled school on the Isle of Wight has been accused by councillors of "appalling behaviour" following a proposed merger.

Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) intends to merge its Sandown Bay and Ryde academies.

Councillors called an extraordinary meeting on 17 May following protests against the plan.

AET had said falling numbers and the consequent impact on finances had prompted the merger decision.

The head teacher of Sandown Bay resigned and the board of governors was replaced earlier this year.

Four members of staff - one teacher and three support staff - currently face compulsory redundancy.

'Uncertain time'

Five Isle of Wight councillors have backed a motion calling for AET to be banned from managing any school on the island.

It also seeks to find an "accountable new local body" to take on the running of the school.

AET previously said it understood it was "an uncertain time for the students and their families".

It added the current public consultation on the proposed merger would "allow full opportunities for everyone to have their say, and will ensure that views on all aspects of the proposed merger...can be put forward and considered before any decision is made".

It has not yet commented on the extraordinary meeting.

A final decision on the proposed merger will be made by the government after the general election.

Sandown Bay Academy came out of special measures two years ago, but is still seen as underperforming.

Pupil numbers have fallen to fewer than 1,000 from 1,252 in 2012.

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