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From Keighley News, January 14th, 2019
Written by Alistair Shand

A SHADOW minister has given his backing to a tiny primary school which is fighting Government moves to make it an academy. Mike Kane, the Shadow Minister for Schools, visited Oldfield Primary to pledge his support. He was accompanied by Keighley MP John Grogan, who has raised the issue in Parliament. The school – which has fewer than 50 pupils – was slapped with an academy order by the Department for Education after a damning Ofsted report last year, in which it was rated ‘inadequate’ and placed in special measures.

But the school says massive improvements, begun even before the inspection team’s scathing document was published in September, have been made.

And there are concerns that ‘academising’ the school would be a retrograde step, which could even put the future of the 142-year-old building in jeopardy.

Mr Kane said following his visit: “My own constituency is across the Pennines in Wythenshawe but I wanted to come and show my support for the school.

“The sad truth is that a number of village schools which join academy chains end-up being closed on financial grounds within a few years.

“I think Oldfield now has a strong teaching staff and management and the children’s education would benefit best from some stability.”