ELL EXCLUSIVE: Tidemill Primary School in Lewisham is to withdraw its application for academy status.
The decision was taken last night at a Governors’ meeting, according to Keith Geary, the Chair of the Board of Governors.
Mr Geary insisted that the academy plans remain in the “best interests” of the school in the long term.
The shock move follows a campaign to stop the school’s plans to gain academy status which was led by Leila Galloway, a parent at the school, with the support of the NUT (National Union of Teachers) and AAA (the Anti Academies Alliance). The campaign claims that over 150 parents have signed a petition against the plans. She had also threatened to seek a judicial review.
Ms Galloway told ELL: ‘This decision represents a victory for parents and local residents. Many people feel that the whole process has been rushed and important decisions made, without fully exploring the implications of such a profound and irreversible change.’
She has also claimed that headmaster, Mark Elms, is incorrect in suggesting that the school would benefit from £160,000 in additional funding as an academy, stating that the school has not fully costed services that would need to be outsourced.
Mr Elms, known as “Superhead”, achieved national prominence last year when it was disclosed that he received remuneration of over £276,000 in 2009, making him better paid than his opposite number at Eton College.
ELL understands that Tidemill Primary School plans to proceed with its application for academy status at some stage in the future, but will first address some of the concerns raised, including the issue of funding.
Mr Geary said: “I still believe that academy status is in the best interests of our school. We know what the challenge is against the plans and it is purely politically inspired.”