Tidemill school to continue Academy application

Tidemill Primary School

School governors at Tidemill Primary School in Deptford have voted to go ahead with an application to turn the school into an Academy.

Last week, the Deptford Says No Campaign organised a picket outside the school to protest against the plans and show the governors inside the strength of local opposition to the proposals.

An initial application was withdrawn in January after the school had underestimated the funding that would be needed to maintain services at the school.

However, at the time, Chair of Governors Keith Geary said he still believed that making Tidemill an Academy was in the  “best interests” of the school.

In a letter to parents in March, the school said: “The staff and governors are just as keen as ever to keep Tidemill an outstanding school serving your children and the community.”

Tidemill invited parents to raise their views either by letter or in person.

In a statement released by the school this week, headteacher Mark Elms said  the decision was made by the board “after a full and lengthy discussion of the detailed documents placed on the school website and other relevant papers”.

Protesters outside Tidemill Primary School in Depford

Leila Galloway, a parent and participant in the opposition campaign feels let down, particularly in terms of the communication between the school and local community.

She said: “‘There has been no evidence produced by the school that has addressed any of our concerns and again we are deeply disappointed that the school has ignored the views of the vast majority of the parents and the community.”

One parent felt that she can no longer agree with Ofsted that Tidemill was an outstanding school.

She said: ‘They should be clear and explain to us what is going on. I have lost a lot of respect for the school because of the way they are dealing with the parents.”

Under government academy initiatives, schools are to be funded directly by the Government rather than via local councils.

Schools would have the freedom to set their own pay for teachers and have the freedom to change the curriculum and the length of the school day and term length.

Protesters outside Tidemill Primary school

Opponents say that Academies would give private companies too much of an interest in education and would pose a threat to working conditions.

A protester at last week’s event said that following the Governor’s vote they would be taking thier ideas on a national Anti- academies  meeting to ‘galvanise’ the campaign throughout the UK.

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