The chairman of governors at a Catholic primary school is standing down in protest against its “forced” academisation.

Gregor Eglin has been the chairman at Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary School in Wanstead for a number of years but is so strongly against Brentwood Diocese’s plans to turn the school into an academy that he intends to stand down at the end of this term.

The decision will allow him to campaign against the plans more fervently than he can in his current role.

Last week, the Guardian reported that Brentwood Diocese, the Roman Catholic administrative body for Wanstead, plans to take the primary school out of local government control by turning it into an independent academy.

Academies are paid for by central government and separate from local council control.

The move will allow the body to be in control of its curriculum and the day-to-day running of the school, currently under Redbridge Council’s control.

Mr Eglin said: “I plan to stand down at the end of this term in response to the diocese’s decision.

“While I am chair I am obliged to carry out the will of the governing body and there was nothing we could do once the bishop had made his mind up.

“Personally I am strongly against the plans. I believe schools are best placed under local democratic control and the track record of academies is not that good.

“The conditions of service have generally deteriorated and there all kinds of problems with some schools financially.

“The whole thing is a political decision to take education out of local democractic control.

“After I stand down, I plan to campaign strongly against it.”

He added: “The reason given for the diocese to academise is to protect Catholic education, but I think this will do the exact opposite and I do not believe Catholic schools should be outside mainstream local authority education.

“I am concerned that Catholic education will lose something, I am not sure what the diocese wants to protect. We are not aware of any political party that wants to damage Catholic education. It is unnecessary panic.”

Last week, the council’s operational director for education wrote a strongly-worded letter to Brentwood Diocese expressing the authority’s concern and disappointment at the plans.

A group of parents at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary has also written to the school’s governors expressing their worry.

They said they were “disturbed” by the way the diocese has conducted its decision-making process so far.

In the letter, parents said: “We wish to highlight the real concerns that have come to light following the proposed conversion to academy status.

“The school is a successful school in which our children are happy and thriving in their learning and personal development. It is a school supported by enthusiastic parents, amazing staff and an active local community and parish.

“We are extremely concerned that all of this is at risk, for no tangible benefit to the school or community.”

The letter goes on to list worries parents have over the diocese’s consultation and lack of engagement when communicating with parents about the decision.

Parents said they were “disturbed” by how the process has been run and claim the decision was taken without any discussion, stating a promised four-week consultation never took place.

A spokesman for Brentwood Diocese said the plans to turn Redbridge Roman Catholic schools into academies was proving “largely popular” and that the organisation had conducted a wide and comprehensive consultation.

The organisation said it plans to keep dialogue open between parents and itself to keep people informed about the plans.