Don't bother us now, your time will come. This was the essence of the reply I received from Darren Francis from the Office of the Schools Commissioner after I wrote to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, about the merger.
Here is the reply in full:
Dear Mr Welsh,
Thank you for your email dated 04 January 2009 to the Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, in relation to the proposed Catholic Academy in Slough. Your correspondence has been passed to me for reply.
The proposal from Slough Council and the Diocese of Northampton is still in its initial stages. We will shortly consider whether to issue a Statement of Intent (SoI) letter to the Council and the Diocese to allow the next phase of the process to begin.
If a SoI letter is issued, the local authority and the Diocese will begin drafting an Expression of Interest (EoI) document and start taking the views of the local community on the future of the schools. Parents can write to the Diocese and the governing bodies of the schools expressing their views on the proposal at any stage during the EoI process.
Upon receipt of a completed EoI, department officials will scrutinise its contents before making a recommendation to Ministers on whether to proceed. It is only at this stage in the process that the formal feasibility study takes place. The purpose of the feasibility phase is to consult widely with key stakeholders to ensure the proposed academy meets the future needs for Catholic education in the area.
I hope that this clarifies the position and reassures you that you will have every opportunity to make your views known before decisions are taken on the future of these schools.
Office of the Schools Commissioner
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