Parents slam plans to force primary school into becoming an academy (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Parents slam plans to force Snaresbrook Primary School into becoming an academy
Parents have expressed concern over government proposals to force a primary school to become an academy.
The Department of Education has written to governors at Snaresbrook Primary, in Meadow Walk, South Woodford, after it was placed in special measures following a damning Ofsted report in July.
But families say the move is unnecessary because a new headteacher has since been employed who has already dramatically turned around the school's fortunes.
Governors are due to meet tomorrow to discuss the proposals but parents fear the Department of Education (DfE) is determined to push through the changes.
A group of campaigning parents carried out an informal poll at the school gates last week, and say 89 per cent of 188 respondents voted against it becoming an academy.
Danae Leaman-Hill, 39, who has two children at the school, said: "The whole thing is completely unnecessary.
"The school is like a high performance sports car that's had a bad driver for the last few years. The driver has gone and it's still a high performance car.
"It irks me a lot that we are really being leaned on [by the DfE]. My family has had very positive experiences at the school and I've got a lot of faith in the new leadership".
Government policy is that schools judged to be inadequate should normally be converted to academies sponsored by other schools or education groups, so that they break away from local council control and, in theory, improve as a result.
Campaigners say they have been told that the school's recent key stage two SATS results, due to be published next month, are the fourth best in Redbridge.
Nikki Christie, 40, who has a five-year-old daughter in reception, said she suspected the DfE was aware of this and wanted to use Snaresbrook to misleadingly "prove" that forcing schools into becoming academies raised standards.
She added: "The school is already better and I want staff to carry on doing their good work - we don't need it to become an academy."
The Guardian is awaiting a comment from the DfE.
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