Teachers from London school fight against academisation plans

Teachers from London school fight against academisation plans

Parents and teachers at one of the oldest state schools in the country have become the latest to take up the fight against plans to remove their school from local authority control and force it to become an academy.

The John Roan school, which has been teaching children in Greenwich, south-east London for more than 300 years, was made the subject of an academy order earlier this year after an Ofsted inspection found it was “inadequate”.

About 60 teachers at the school, who belong to the National Education Union (NEU), walked out on Wednesday for their eighth day of strike action supported by parents of some of the 1,200 pupils, under the campaign banner John Roan Resists.

They are opposed to the school being taken over by the University SchoolsTrust, which has been named as the preferred sponsor. More than 1,000 people have signed a petition and 300 families from the school have written to the chair of governors raising concerns about the financial viability and suitability of UST to run the school.

They want to see Ofsted reinspect the school and the academy order revoked. “We all agree that the school has already seen improvements – we should be allowed to continue to work together without the disruption that academisation would bring,” the letter says.

Kirstie Paton, a social sciences teacher and union representative, has worked at the school for 18 years. “We are concerned an academy trust will come in and destroy the inclusive nature of the school and narrow the curriculum,” she said.