A controversial decision to merge the management of two primary schools in Leyton has been unanimously agreed by governors. 

As of September, Dawlish Primary School in Jesse Road, and Newport School in Newport Road will operate under one governing body and Newport's current headteacher Prue Barnes. 

The proposal for a "hard federation" was criticised by some parents at Dawlish who claimed it could destroy the sense of community. 

Cllr Mark Rusling, cabinet member for children and young people, sent a letter yesterday informing them of the decision to push ahead with the plan. 

Children at Dawlish are said to have been underachieving for some time and the council says it was at 'high risk' of going into special measures. 

Cllr Rusling said: "The council are of the clear view that the very low achievement of recent years at Dawlish School cannot be allowed to continue. 

"We know that, whilst rated 'good' by Ofsted in February 2012, Dawlish is at a very high risk of failing any inspection that takes place before standards rise. 

"This would leave the school at risk of forced academisation. The Federation is an essential first step towards securing the rapid improvements that are needed at Dawlish."

Ms Barnes was sworn in as interim executive headteacher at Dawlish in January following the resignation of its previous headteacher. 

The council said despite parents' concerns raised during the consultation period, governors are "convinced the federation is a huge opportunity for both schools to be stronger together, than apart, whilst retaining their individual identities". 

The federation is likely to be modelled on the merger between Selwyn Primary School in Selwyn Avenue, Highams Park, and Davies Lane Primary School in Davies Lane, Leytonstone. 

Had the federation not been approved, the alternative option was creating a sponsored academy. 

Ms Barnes has been contacted for a comment.