Survey finds just 4pc of parents back Wanstead academy plans

Parents gather in protest outside Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, in Chesnut Drive, on Tuesday, October

Parents gather in protest outside Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, in Chesnut Drive, on Tuesday, October 30. Photo: Paul Donovan - Credit: Archant

Plans to academise a school in Wanstead have been met with ”overwhelming opposition” from parents.

In a parent action group survey circulated to families at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School, Cambridge Park, some 48 per cent said they were not happy with the school becoming a Catholic Academy Trust.

Just over 30pc were undecided, claiming they did not have enough information to make such an important decision and 16pc said they did know but trusted the school to make the right decision about their child’s future.

Only 4pc of the 206 respondents backed academisation.

Redbridge Council has spoken out against academisation and invited Brentwood Diocese to an education scrutiny committee meeting to talk about plans for all Catholic schools in the borough, however the Diocese turned down the invitation declaring that it thought it would be a “fruitless” exercise.

Councillor for Wanstead Village Paul Donovan said: “This survey confirms what a growing number of parents have been saying about this whole process.

“Most do not support academisation, preferring that their already excellently performing school stays as it is within the family of local authority run schools.

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“There is though another sizeable group, who object to not being consulted and informed properly about what is going on.

“It is high time the Diocese of Brentwood started listening to what the parents are saying -in the 21st century you do not just railroad these things through.

“The strength of schools like Our Lady of Lourdes comes from their root in the local parish community – why not listen to them.”

The Our Lady of Lourdes action group said: “The governors and diocese need to take on board the view of parents.

“We have not had a fair or open consultation and it is now clear that the vast majority of parents need more information.

“The survey to parents is evidence of this and also shows a high level of parental engagement concerning the proposed CMAT.

“The consultation period must be extended and the date of the proposed academisation be pushed back - September 2019 is not long enough for such a monumental change to be implemented.”