Staff at Chadwell Heath school fight forced academy status

Sarah Jane Scrace, and other staff outside Warren School in Whalebone Lane North, opposing academy s

Sarah Jane Scrace, and other staff outside Warren School in Whalebone Lane North, opposing academy status - Credit: Archant

EXCLUSIVE: Staff at a school in Barking and Dagenham are fighting a decision by the government to force the school to become an academy.

The Warren School in Whalebone Lane received an Academy Order from education secretary Michael Gove on Monday, saying the school would be taken out of council hands and “converted” into an academy at a date set by the government.

The letter was signed by Lord Nash, parliamentary under secretary for schools, with news of Mr Gove’s decision.

The school has said it will seek a judicial review to try and stop the conversion after a meeting of its board of governors on Monday night.

Sarah Jane Scrace, chair of governors at the school, said: “We were shocked that despite improvements Lord Nash seeks to impose an academy against local wishes.

“The governing body at Warren School considered the content of his letter very carefully and decided we should ask for judicial review of the decision of the secretary of state, and in the first instance to obtain interim relief from court.”

She added: “We are concerned that his decision would have a negative impact on our children’s education.”

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The Warren School was put into “special measures” status by Ofsted in February last year, meaning it was failing and would be subject to regular inspections.

However, Ofsted said in October 2013 the school was making progress towards removing this status, having achieved the highest GCSE results of any single year in its history.

The letter from Mr Gove said the secretary “remains of the view that The Warren faces serious challenges and that academy status with the support of a sponsor offers the best chance to bring about rapid and sustained improvements.”

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