Ilkley'S school governors have spoken collectively for the first time about their doubts over Bradford Council's education review.

The Ilkley Pyramid of Schools consists of 10 schools in Ilkley, Addingham and Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Governors and head teachers meet regularly to discuss pyramid matters and the Council's education review, which could see the dismantling of the three-tier system, is 'top priority.'

A statement issued to the Ilkley Gazette by the pyramid governors is sceptical about the possible benefits for education in the district.

"There will be implications for all involved in schools: pupils, staff and parents. Bradford Council do not give clear information on the true costs of change, nor do they give an undertaking that all capital receipts from school closures will be ploughed back into education provision."

The council's education review team has presented three options for improving schools.

One option is to retain the present pyramid system but education bosses also have the option of keeping the present system with fewer schools, or switching to a two-tier system of education.

Heads and governors within the Ilkley pyramid have spoken on several occasions of their frustration at the 'politics' of education with local and central government blaming each other for budget shortfalls.

The 10 governors and head teachers believe more money is essential to ensure future success.


"If educational budgets continue to be kept under pressure, it is hard to see how any long term benefits, educationally or socially, can be achieved," they said.

The education review is now at its second consultation stage and parents are being asked to fill in a questionnaire.

"Governors and head teachers of schools in the Ilkley Pyramid exhort parents to give full consideration to all the issues, particularly those of an educational nature, and make a full response to the Authority.

"We also urge parents to draw the attention of the Authority to the effects of continued financial pressure on our schools."

The governors and head teachers stress whatever the final outcome of the review, they will work together to manage any changes with the best interests of children in mind.

The school review has caused anger among many parents with a frequent cry of 'if it isn't broken, why fix it?'

The debate comes in a week where Government league tables show schools in Ilkley, Addingham and Burley-in-Wharfedale enjoying considerable success in Maths, English and Science.

While Labour education chiefs on Bradford Council believe the review is necessary to improve standards, Conservative opponents have slammed it as a cost-cutting exercise.

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