The struggle of Catholic schools in the diocese of Brentwood (East
London and Essex) to resist plans to academise continues to gather
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
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.
A teaching union leader has questioned whether Ofsted is reluctant to
call out off-rolling in schools run by multi-academy trusts that are
close to the government because it is too “politically uncomfortable”.
Mary Bousted, the NEU teaching union’s joint general secretary, is concerned about why Ofsted is identifying the seemingly identical cases involving the removal of students in Year 11 as off-rolling in some schools, but not in others.