Protest over school academisation plans


Parents battling the academisation of their local school protested outside the Department for Education offices.

Members of the John Roan Resist group have delivered a letter to regional schools commissioner (RSC) Dominic Herrington, the man responsible for leading the delivery of academies in South London.

The group, which includes dozens of parents with children at The John Roan school in Greenwich, are unhappy with the DfE’s actions after an academy order was served.

This means the school will be plucked out of Greenwich council’s control, with the University Schools Trust (UST) taking control, receiving funding directly from the DfE.

In the letter they said: “We are extremely disappointed that you refuse to meet with parents and staff. As key stakeholders we deserve to be heard.

Parents protesting against the academisation plans for The John Roan
Parents protesting against the academisation plans for The John Roan

“We are completely opposed to the academisation of our school and at no point have we had a say in the future of our children’s education. This is disgraceful and we won’t go away quietly.”

The group were met by security guards and locked doors in Croydon.

One of the parents, Anneli Harrison, said: “We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see Dominic because we had a song for him. They told us to go to head office in Victoria, so that’s our next stop in September.”

The Secretary of State, Damian Hinds, has a legal duty to make an academy order when a maintained school has been judged inadequate.

After Ofsted confirmed its judgement on May 25, the department began formal discussions with UST and the RSC – with advice from his headteacher board – issued the academy order naming UST as preferred sponsor on June 12.

A DfE spokeswoman said: “Where a school is failing we will not hesitate to take action for the benefit of pupils. The University Schools Trust was identified as a preferred sponsor for the school by the Regional Schools Commissioner and with support from school leaders, governors, the local authority and the local MP.”

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