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Parents vote against government plans to convert Dagenham school into academy

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 January 2014

Parents protesting outside Dorothy Barley Junior School

Parents protesting outside Dorothy Barley Junior School

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Parents have voted overwhelmingly against government plans to convert a Dagenham primary school into an academy.

A council referendum on Dorothy Barley Junior School, in Ivinghoe Road, found about 70 per cent of respondents wanting the school to remain under local authority control.

However despite recent parent protests, the ballot received a low turnout, with just 25 per cent of the 425 questionnaires returned.

Cllr Liam Smith, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “The views of parents and their children are important and should be considered before any changes are made.

“The local educational authority, parents and teachers should be given a say and other options should be considered rather than have it imposed on them.”

The borough’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) branch secretary, Dominic Byrne, said: “The NUT is appalled by the coercion employed against Dorothy Barley Junior School in the government’s attempts to force it to become an academy against the wishes of parents, governors, staff and the local authority.”

The consultation carried out by the interim executive board (IEB) ended last month and a report is due for submission to Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Andrew Spearman, board chairman, said: “We have previously made clear that, although the ballot itself is not part of the IEB’s statutory consultation, the council and other interested parties were welcome to include this in their formal consultation response that would then be annexed in the report.”


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