Controversial proposals to convert a primary school into an academy will be decided on by its governors, the Department for Education (DfE) has said.

Parents at Snaresbrook Primary, in Meadow Walk, South Woodford, launched a campaign after the DfE made the suggestion in a letter to the school following a damning Ofsted report in July.

In a statement to the Guardian today, the DfE said no decision had been made and that it would be up to governors.

Families say converting the school into an academy is unnecessary because a new headteacher was employed after the Ofsted report who has already dramatically turned around the school's fortunes.

A DfE spokesman said: "Ministers are clear that we cannot stand by when a school is judged inadequate and believe that becoming an academy with the support of a strong sponsor is the best solution for ensuring rapid and sustained improvement.

“However, no decisions have been taken in relation to Snaresbrook.

"Should the governing body decide to pursue becoming a sponsored academy, there will be a formal consultation and all responses will be taken into account.”

Governors are due to meet tonight to discuss the plans, while a protest will be held by parents outside the school gates at 6pm.

Government policy is that schools judged to be inadequate should normally be converted to academies sponsored by other schools or education groups, meaning that they break away from local council control and, in theory, improve as a result.

But critics argue there is no evidence for this and that it is a way for the government to increase the level of private sector involvement in the nation's education system.


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