December 11 2013 Latest news:
by Amanda Nunn
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Parents and councillors plan to “fight all the way” against a school becoming an academy, despite the government saying it has found a sponsor.
More than 2,000 parents have signed a petition opposing the proposed change in status of Snaresbrook Primary School, Meadow Walk, South Woodford.
In a letter, Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, said turning it into an academy was the best way to secure “long-term improvement”.
The letter, addressed to Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith, said the governors would be needed to be consulted first.
Lord Nash added: “Departmental officials will be in touch with the governing body shortly with details of a strong sponsor that we believe will provide the experience and support that the school needs.”
He acknowledged the school, which was placed into special measures in June after an Oftsed report, was working to “bring about improvement”.
But he insisted it becoming an academy was the best way forward.
Snaresbrook Cllr Sue Nolan vowed to “fight all the way” in the battle to block Lord Nash’s plans
She said: “Not only has there been an already been a dramatic improvement at the school, it has the fourth best SATs results in the borough and amongst the best in London. There is no case to be made for a change in status”
She said she was concerned at a sense of “fait accompli” in Lord Nash’s letter.
“If the parents don’t want it, the teachers don’t want it, the governors don’t want it, local councillors don’t want it and the borough don’t want it, it shouldn’t happen,” Cllr Nolan added.
“It is vital that the consultation being urged on the school is not only comprehensive but is the key arbiter in any decision.”
A letter from parents to the Recorder said: “We cannot understand why Lord Nash and the Department for Education are still doggedly pursuing such an unnecessary and heavy-handed course of action.”
Last month, more than 100 parents and children held a demonstration outside Snaresbrook Primary against academisation.