BY JAMES TWOMEY
Parents are protesting against how a primary school is run after a SATs exam was voided. St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary school in Howson Road, Brockley has come under fire for a range of problems which including allegations of a lack of activities.
The school’s problems began last year when a Year 6 SATs maths exam was voided. But according to the protesters an undercurrent of other problems has made it increasingly uncomfortable for the students, causing parents to protest outside the school last week.
Pedro Charles, whose daughter attends the school, said: “The kids are so upset and just want to leave. “There’s nothing there for them. The activities always get cancelled there’s nothing fun for them to do.
“We’ve been told by teachers that the SATs appeals process cost the school £30,000. “They won’t let PTA meetings run. Why? If parents want to run it I don’t understand what the problem is?
He added: “The school needs an overhaul of senior management, governors and PTA. Most parents are willing to help but no one wants to work with them. They haven’t got our kids best interests at heart or we wouldn’t be in this position.
“There are so many parents here willing to help make a difference. “It’s just so saddening, emotionally draining and is having a mental impact on me and my son.
The whole atmosphere is just depressing. There is no togetherness at all.” Another parent said her son hates the school and has said he wants to kill himself because of it.
The school had promised to meet parents last Friday in “crisis talks” but the parents say they will protest again if their demands are not met.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Teachers and parents must have confidence in the integrity of the assessment system. Any instances of maladministration of the national curriculum assessments are completely unacceptable.
“Following an investigation by the Standards and Testing Agency, the 2018 key stage 2 (KS2) test results for mathematics: Paper 3, were annulled for all pupils within the cohort at St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School.
“This will not, however, adversely affect any of the pupils personally as the school can provide statutory assessment data to show pupils’ progress and attainment in mathematics.”
A Lewisham council spokeswoman said: “We are supporting the school as they work to resolve issues that have been raised.
With regard to safeguarding concerns, we will investigate should any be formally brought to our attention in line with our standard process.”
A group of parents met with senior staff at the school on May 10, including the assistant headteacher, for “crisis talks” but the parents feel that not enough was been resolved and the talks will continue.
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