Unions are worried about the borough’s education system and are holding an event to discuss concerns.

The National Education Union and the National Union of Teachers are holding a public meeting and have invited teachers, parents and support staff to come along.

On Wednesday July 18 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at South Chingford Congregational Church, 161 Chingford Mount Road E4 8LT, issues such as academisation, cuts to special education services, increased teaching workload and pay will all be discussed.

Katie Lindenberg, secretary for the Waltham Forest branch of the NEU, said: “The NEU are very concerned about the situation in Waltham Forest. Silver Birch Academy Trust shows us what can happen when academy chains take over schools. CEOs are able to pay themselves huge salaries.

“When things go wrong, children’s  education suffers and parents, such as those at Longshaw, are left to pick up the pieces. Instead of heeding this warning, we have schools such as Woodford Green, Handsworth, Holy Family, Our Lady and St George and St Joseph’s whose governors and leadership are pushing to join a Multi Academy Trust.

“In all of these cases this is happening in a rush at the end of the school year and without proper consultation of parents, staff and trade unions.”

The NEU has argued for schools to come back under local education authority control and has lobbied for more money for the borough.

The group believes that academy conversion does not deliver more money to children.

A spokesman for the NEU added: “The education service in Waltham Forest is facing severe strain and in some parts worrying fragmentation. The NEU has called this meeting to discuss what we are going to do as a borough.

“The NEU is already assisting a number of parents’ groups who are reacting to these changes.  We are balloting for strike action in some schools where our members are facing cuts. We need to speak with one voice.”

The NEU’s agenda for the night’s discussion is as follows:

–Handsworth: “Parents are fighting an academy conversion and have been granted an extension in the consultation.”

–Rush Croft (an academy): “The NEU have been on strike against cuts and subsequent increased workload.”

–Chingford Hall (Silver Birch Academy): “Reports in the press suggest more financial scrutiny is needed and the previous Headteacher is not in post.”

–Longshaw (Silver Birch Academy): “Parents have an online petition over management of the school – which has garnered over 900 names.”

–Woodford Green: “The school facing academy conversion and the parents are meeting and lobbying for a meaningful ballot.”

–Burnside PRU: “The service that works with children who are vulnerable to gang activity etc, are undergoing a restructuring and cuts – staff are looking to take action.”

–Connaught (an academy): “Teachers have been on strike over pay.”

–Our Lady and St George/Holy Family and St Jospeh’s: “There is a proposals for a Multi Academy Trust. Parents at Our Lady and St George won a 3:1 vote against conversion.”

–Special Educational Needs grant: “A borough-wide parents’ campaign now exists to stop cuts to children with special needs.

The NEU spokesman said: “Whether you have a child in the school listed above, or not.  Whether you are a teacher facing cuts in your school right now, or not, please consider participating in this meeting as if these academy conversions and cuts pass it will impact on the borough in general.

“It is vital that we have an understanding of what we have to do now to prevent changes being pushed through over the summer.”

Contact Steve White on secretary@wfnut.org for more info about this meeting.

Cllr Grace Williams, cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “Schools across the country are facing issues accessing the resources they need to provide the top-quality education our children deserve in the face of unprecedented government cuts.

”We believe that by working together as a family of schools, in partnership with the council, Waltham Forest will overcome these challenges.

“We are unable to comment on individual schools. The role of the council is limited when schools become academies - we and parents have less oversight over what is taught to pupils and less voice to influence decisions that affect our young people.

”However, a number of local schools who had previously considered academisation decided against converting as they recognised the value for money offered by remaining with the local authority, and the vital importance of accountability to the local community.

”It means we can guarantee our young people receive a comprehensive education that sets them up for success in the 21st century.”