The struggle of Catholic schools in the diocese of Brentwood (East London and Essex) to resist plans to academise continues to gather strength.

Last year, parents at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary school in Wanstead struggled to get what they regarded as a proper consultation on the question of academisation. The dispute ended when the parents had to abandon their legal challenge due to prohibitive cost.

So Our Lady of Lourdes joined St Peter and Pauls' in Ilford, St Joseph's in Barking, St Joseph's and St Teresa's in Dagenham in the first round of schools to join the Good Shepherd Trust. Palmer Catholic Academy and St Aidan's Catholic Academy were already members.

Meanwhile, resistance has stiffened. In Newham, St Angela's has abandoned plans to become an academy after teachers went on strike. Staff at St Michael's in East Ham held a strike last week over plans to academise.

In Redbridge, parents at St Bede's are gearing up to oppose plans for their school to academise. There is also resistance at St Augustine's in Barkingside and St Anthony's in Woodford.

So it would seem there is a growing groundswell of opposition, mainly made up of teachers and parents, to the idea of academisation. Many want to stay with the local authority, not dive out into the unknown.

Academisation amounts to taking the school away from the local communities. In the case of church schools it has often been that community that helped raise at least part of the money for the building of the schools in the first place.

When a school becomes an academy it gains a sort of independence (mainly from local authority oversight) but then is beholden to new masters. The funding link is direct to government, while resourcing and the running of the school comes down to the trust. Experience thus far suggests this is not a great route to take education down, with cuts to teaching staff sometimes occurring while those highest up the managerial ladder do very nicely, thank you

The schools that academise don’t see a great deal of change in the early days. Terms and conditions of employment are protected, at least in the short term. However, these guarantees soon run their course and the changes begin.

It is great to see these community based schools standing up and saying enough, we do not want to academise. Why should they, the one question that those seeking academisation have consistently failed to answer is if it isn’t broken why fix it?