MUMS have raised concerns about a school's plan to become an academy and join a Wolverhampton-based trust.

The parents of pupils at Stanley Road Primary School, in Worcester, say they have not been properly consulted on the bid to join Perry Hall Multi Academy Trust.

They are worried about the trust being based so far away from the city and also think the move would drain the school of staff and resources.

However, the school's head denied that this would happen and insisted that parents had been kept up to date with the plans.

Paul Denham, county councillor for the area, said: "I'm very cross. The first thing I heard about it was when a parent contacted me on Wednesday.

"County councillors expect to be kept informed by schools about major changes they are planning."

Cllr Denham said that while there are successful academies, he still has some reservations about the system.

He added: "The downside is that there is less local accountability.

"It's less transparent whether money is fairly divided between schools [in trusts]. You don't get to see how trusts are spending their money because it's essentially a private company.

"It's possible that a trust could decide that a school deserves a bit more than its fair share."

A mother, whose child attends Stanley Road, said: "Parents feel that a local multi-academy trust that understands local needs would be preferable if we had to become an academy.

"They have already been sending members of staff from our school to other schools.

"It will not only draw staff away from Stanley Road, it will mean our budget is decided on by the trust... a multi-academy trust that's not even local."

One mum, who has two children at Stanley Road, said: "I'm not convinced it's in the best interest of the school. I think it would put people off sending their kids to this school as an academy is run as a business."

Another parent said: "As an academy, staff and resources are shared between the schools.

"To take us away from local schools and join us to schools in Wolverhampton is really odd."

The parents have started a petition calling for a proper consultation on the plans.

However, Anne Potter, headteacher at the school, said: "We have chosen a multi-academy trust which is a good match for us and which will support us to be an even better school over a poor but local match.

"The arts are very strong at Stanley Road and we have created our own curriculum to meet the needs of our diverse intake so we were looking for a multi-academy trust which would celebrate that diversity and not one which insisted that all its academies did the same thing in the same way."

She said parents have been informed via newsletters, the school website and meetings.

The headteacher added: "We’ve been discussing academy conversion for over a year and parents have been kept up to date through the newsletter. In November 2017 the notification went out that the governors had decided that Stanley Road should become an academy and hoped to join Perry Hall Multi Academy Trust in the autumn of 2018 (this term).

"There is no reason to believe that the school will be drained of its resources and in the meetings which have been held with the trust, parents, staff and governors assurances have repeatedly been given to that effect.

"We have carefully chosen a multi-academy trust which will be of benefit to us, not a detriment. As a successful school we already have staff who support other schools and our staffing levels reflect this – at no point has a class had a supply teacher whilst a teacher has been out of school providing support to another school. Our work with other schools also generates income so there is an additional benefit to our own school.

"The trust has a proven track record of improving outcomes for their pupils – this is achieved through high quality teaching by qualified staff who are valued and supported.

"There are no plans to alter our SEN provision at all. The parents have also repeatedly had this reassurance.

"Governor appointments are carried out according to prevailing regulations. When nominations are sought, if there are fewer or an equal number then there is no need for an election. The last election for the governing body had five candidates for three positions and was carried out in the summer of 2017.

"The result was announced, complete with voting outcomes and a welcome to the new governors, in the newsletter of 23rd June 2017.

"The attendance at [consultation] meetings has been low, which seems to indicate that most parents do not have concerns. In discussion a common response from parents has been that they trust us to do the right thing for the school and their children.

"We believe that this partnership will bring many advantages and we have yet to identify any disadvantages. The current objections appear to be political objections about academisation in general rather than an objection to Perry Hall as a trust. The school does not receive support from the local authority – as a good school it is left to its own devices. This has also been explained to the parents.

"Many of the Worcester city schools have already become academies without any impact on their intakes. We have no intention of changing the school name or uniform: there will be no noticeable changes except for a line on our headed paper and we do not think parents will notice any differences in our day to day activities

"The school has a strong commitment to the arts and has built a curriculum which has been acknowledged as good practice, these are among the strengths which will be maintained and further developed. The Ofsted inspection in June this year identified many strengths. We believe that this conversion will help us to become an even better school, supported by like-minded professionals who want the best for the children in their schools."