School academisation: If it isn’t broken, why fix it?

The struggle of Catholic schools in the diocese of Brentwood (East London and Essex) to resist plans to academise continues to gather strength.

Last year, parents at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary school in Wanstead struggled to get what they regarded as a proper consultation on the question of academisation. The dispute ended when the parents had to abandon their legal challenge due to prohibitive cost.

So Our Lady of Lourdes joined St Peter and Pauls’ in Ilford, St Joseph’s in Barking, St Joseph’s and St Teresa’s in Dagenham in the first round of schools to join the Good Shepherd Trust. Palmer Catholic Academy and St Aidan’s Catholic Academy were already members.

Meanwhile, resistance has stiffened. In Newham, St Angela’s has abandoned plans to become an academy after teachers went on strike. Staff at St Michael’s in East Ham held a strike last week over plans to academise.

In Redbridge, parents at St Bede’s are gearing up to oppose plans for their school to academise. There is also resistance at St Augustine’s in Barkingside and St Anthony’s in Woodford.

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