NUT backs Warren School in fight against academy plans

Sarah Scrace, Warren school chair of govenors with sixth form students at the school

Sarah Scrace, Warren school chair of govenors with sixth form students at the school - Credit: Archant

The Warren School has received backing from a teachers’ union and the leader of the council in its fight against government attempts to turn it into an academy.

This week, the National Union of Teachers released a statement quoting council leader Liam Smith, standing by the school and calling the move an “ideological” decision by education secretary Michael Gove.

Labour’s Cllr Smith, of River ward, said: “This decision just shows how little the views of local people mean to the secretary of state.

“We have been through a formal consultation and the vast majority of parents support the federation with a neighbouring school rather than the academy proposal.

“Our community is united, our staff and pupils are united - and will we fight his bullying tactics to protect our community comprehensive with everything we have got.”

The school is seeking a judicial review into the government’s plans.

Sarah Scrace, chair of governors at the Warren School in Chadwell Heath, said: “We’re are extremely disappointed at the news, especially at this point in time when our oldest children are right now in the middle of exams in one the most important weeks in their academic lives.

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“As governors we want to continue to do what is right for the children and will fight this in any way we can.”

The school hopes to continue its connection to Robert Clack School and says it has made improvements since Ofsted placed it in special measures last year.

Jon Cruddas MP has accused Mr Gove of treating the school with “absolute derision and contempt”.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “The Warren has a sustained history of under-performance and is currently in special measures for the second time in the last 10 years.

“We cannot simply stand by when a school continues to provide an unacceptable standard of education.

“It is absolutely right that the secretary of state takes this action to bring about the best possible outcomes for pupils now and in the future.”

Barking and Dagenham has only one academy at present – Thames View Infant School in Bastable Avenue, Barking.