Third day of strike action for teachers protesting Dagenham school merger

Teachers opposing the merger of their community school with a faith school staged a third day of strike action.

The 14 teachers from Village Infants, walked out yesterday and today over the council’s decision to amalgamate their school with neighbouring William Ford C of E School and turn it into a voluntary aided C of E primary school.

It follows a previous day of action on July 5.

The authority approved plans to merge the two schools, both in Ford Road, at a cabinet meeting last Wednesday, despite opposition from teachers and a protest petition with 700 signatures from staff, governors and parents.

Those opposing the move fear admissions criteria could favour church going families and worry that the standard of both schools could deteriorate as a result of the merger.

The teachers are also unhappy that their employer will change from the council to the diocese.

The authority and the head of William Ford, Duncan Ramsay, believe the merger will mean the pupils’ education is more consistent and that the schools will save money.

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Teacher Yolanda Cattle said today: “The council may have made their decision but we are not giving up. We want Village Infant to remain as a community school.”

William Ford governors have said no children will be treated unfairly because they do not come from a Christian background.