The following response to the recent 'Jeff and Josh special' local Conservative electioneering leaflet has been issued by the headteacher of the New Mills School Business And Enterprise College:
"To all our wider school community
"I am writing in response to the recent Conservative Party campaign leaflet that has been sent out to New Mills residents. The ...Newsletter had a section on schools in which there was a statement about New Mills Secondary School and academisation which has caused some concern. I will outline below the context of where this statement has come from but I can assure you that we are not currently in the process of becoming academy.
"As stated in the newsletter after being put into Special Measures the Department for Education (DfE) will look to transfer a school in special measures into an academy and remove it from Local Authority control. Last July the Governing Body was heavily pressured by representatives of the DfE into making a decision about Academy status.
"After much deliberation and research the Governing Body resolved to 'join the Cheadle Hulme Education Trust (CHET) as a sponsored academy subject to the satisfactory conclusion of all negotiations'. The Governing Body did not make this decision known to the wider school community because it was felt that until all negotiations had taken place they did not know if there would be a satisfactory conclusion. Their caution was justified when CHET made their decision not to proceed with New Mills School at this point in time given the financial issues.
"Since taking up my appointment as the new Headteacher in September I have been working with the Local Authority to drive the improvements needed at our school. Alongside working with the LA I have been working with Cheadle Hulme High School (CHHS) as part of the school to school support programme which I shared with parents at the parent forum in September, this programme is being funded by the Local Authority. Linda Magrath, the Headteacher at CHHS, came along to the parent forum meeting in September to share how we were going to work together to drive school improvement.
"I am happy that New Mills School is making the progress needed to come out of Special Measures and this has been confirmed by a recent monitoring report carried out the Local Authority.
"I hope this puts into context the statement in the campaign leaflet and I can assure you that we are not currently in the process of becoming academy.
"Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or need clarification on any points made.
Jeff and Josh, and the High Peak Conservative Association, it's over to you.