Anger as parents’ wishes overruled in forced academy conversion of Dagenham school

Reach2 academyParents, residents and councillors have been left shocked by the government’s decision to turn a primary school into an academy, despite 84 per cent voting against plans.

A report on the consultation over the academisation of Dorothy Barley Junior School, Ivinghoe Road, 
Dagenham, revealed 143 of 170 completed questionnaires were not in favour.

Only 15pc supported REAch2 becoming the sponsor. But in a letter dated February 6, Lord Nash, Under Secretary of State for Schools, wrote to staff stating the intention to proceed, writing: “The academy will open on April 1, 2014, or as soon as possible thereafter.”

Dominic Byrne, Barking and Dagenham NUT division secretary, said the decision confirmed his fears that the consultation process had been a “sham”.

“The decision shows the academy programme has nothing to do with parental choice and everything to do with the ideological preferences of the government for schools to operate like businesses,” he said.

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