Government official warns school may become an academy (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
Lord Nash warns school may still become an academy
A senior official at the Department of Education has said a ‘failing’ school may still be turned into an academy - despite a high-profile campaign against the move.
MP Iain Duncan Smith wrote to Lord John Nash, parliamentary under-secretary of state for education, outlining constituent’s concerns about Snaresbrook Primary School, which was recently placed in special measures.
Parents and campaigners believe the school has already made significant improvements since its damning Ofsted report in July, rating it inadequate in every category.
Others say academy status would take the school out of authority control and end community accountability.
In the letter, Lord Nash acknowledged the improvements which have already taken place but reiterated that a conversion to academy status would be the best solution due to the school’s “serious weaknesses”.
He stated that a statutory consultation would need to take place before the school can become an academy, which the school’s governing body will be expected to carry out.
All factors such as ballot results and Ofsted evidence would then be carefully considered before a decision is made.
Cllr Suzanne Nolan has vowed to “fight all the way” in the battle to stop the move.
Cllr Nolan said: “Not only has there already been a dramatic improvement at the school, it has the fourth best SATS results in the borough and amongst the best in London. There is no case to be made for a change in status.
“It seems clear the recent Ofsted report was an aberration. I urge Lord Nolan and Ofsted to commission a further full inspection before any further action is contemplated.”
Cllr Nolan is meeting with parents, fellow Cllr Chris Cummins and Ilford North MP Lee Scott to co-ordinate moves to protect the school on Friday and is calling for an urgent meeting with Lord Nash.
She said: “It is vital that the consultation being urged on the school is not only comprehensive but is the key arbiter in any decision.
“The DfE may have the power but they do not have the right to force academisation on Snaresbrook Primary School.
“If the parents don’t want it, the teachers don’t want it, the governors don’t want, local councillors don’t want it and the borough doesn’t want it, it shouldn’t happen.”
The petition against the move has now reached over 740 signatures with the campaign’s next demonstration taking place November 1.
Comments are closed on this article.