Once again nobody from the Seckford Foundation was present at the meeting and it is now clear that their strategy is to send members of the local parent group to these meetings. In the case of Beccles it appears that McHugh is just about the only remaining member of that group.
It took a member of the public to tell people that one of the free school proposers was present despite a number of occasions where questions were raised that Seckford might be able to answer. Asked why Seckford could not co-ordinate the start and finish times of the school with Sir John Leman High there was an immediate offer from Jeremy Rowe the Head of Sir John Leman to change their times. McHugh wasn’t able to answer as such decisions now are for Seckford not the parent group.
When discussion turned to the free school, McHugh point blank refused to discuss the issue and insisted the meeting was just about transport. But as members of the around 80 strong audience pointed out without the free school the meeting would not be taking place!
During the meeting McHugh sat there whist person after person criticised the free school. One teacher present described it as “offering nothing new at all and trying to put education back 50 years” School proposers Seckford were described as “selfish” the school was slated as a complete waste of public money, people said it would damage Sir John Leman and that the proposal had caused needless stress and anxiety to parents and children who had just got over the school organisation review.
Faced with such criticism of a project McHugh apparently thinks is such a good idea that millions of pounds of public money should be spent on it you would imagine he would be keen to respond. The fact he did not suggests he either does not have a response or is following a mis-guided PR strategy from his masters at Seckford. It appears he was sent to report back rather than participate...
To me this is the outrageous behaviour. People in public life should be prepared to be accountable and to explain and defend their decisions and proposals.