‘Sad day’: NUT praises Warren School in academy row after court bid rejected

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

A high court bid to stop the Warren School being turned into an academy has been rejected by judges, in what the country’s largest teaching union called a “sad day for local democracy”.

The school has been fighting education secretary Michael Gove’s plan to take the school out of council hands due to its poor showing in an Ofsted report.

But judges this week ruled that Mr Gove’s issuing of an academy order to force the change of status was “not unlawful”.

Governors at the school said they were “extremely disappointed” by the court’s decision, as the plans are not in the best interests of their pupils, and said improvements were being made at the school.

In a statement the board said: “Despite an uncertain future we are confident that all of our superb staff, parents, pupils and governors will continue to pull together to further these achievements.”

They also thanked the support the school has received from the local community.

In a recent public consultation, 85 per cent of respondents were in favour of the school remaining a local authority school while working with Robert Clack School to raise standards.

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Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, praised the school and the council “taking a principled stand” to keep the school in council hands.

She added: “The fact that the Secretary of State ignored the outcome of the consultation on the school’s future shows his utter contempt and disregard for local views.

“This is a sad day for local democracy.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We are pleased this matter has finally been resolved. For at least a decade, Barking and Dagenham Council has failed to provide anything like an acceptable standard of education at this school.

“We will now work with the sponsor to open the academy as soon as possible so that pupils at the Warren finally get the education they deserve”.

A spokesman for the council said it was “very disappointed” by the ruling, adding: “We are currently considering the judgement and are unable to comment further at this time.”

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