Deptford says no to Tidemill becoming an academy

May 8th, 2011 at 9:11 pm


PRESS RELEASE    Monday 9th May 2011

On Wednesday the 4th May 2011 the governing body of Tidemill School chose to ignore the vigorous campaign of considerable opposition from parents, the local community, Lewisham Council, Joan Ruddock MP and Lewisham NUT against Tidemill Primary School leaving the local authority family of schools, and voted in favour of making a new application to convert to an academy. Their first application had to be withdrawn because of a legal challenge.

Since July 2010 the school’s consultation has been a sham: a paper exercise that lacked democracy and fairness, and was at times coercive. Parents who raised concerns about the consultation have been met with intimidatory tactics, bullying, misrepresentation, interference with public meetings, misleading and false information.  The local community’s views have been ignored and key community organisations were not consulted.

Leila Galloway, a parent in the campaign, believes that “there has been no evidence produced by the school that has addressed any of our concerns. And again we are deeply disappointed that the school has ignored the views of the vast majority of the parents and the community.”

The Chair of Governors, Keith Geary, has already said: “If it (the school / governing body) is split, we’re not going for it.”So why did they vote in favour for the second time?



There has been considerable opposition from parents and the local   community, Two petitions have been produced:

Paulo Sanhueza, a parent from the campaign, was elected by a large majority onto the governing body, which shows a real indication of popular support for the campaign.

Letter of support from councilors, headteachers and academics calling on the school to reject the Academy proposal and stay within the local authority family of schools.

Lewisham’s Labour Group of Councillors remain concerned about the proposals for Tidemill Primary School becoming an academy under the Department for Education’s new academy programme.

The school withdrew their first application because of a legal challenge from a parent.

To quote the World Architecture News last month:
“Tidemill Primary School in the London Borough of Lewisham is the result of a visionary concept to increase the space and resources available to new schools by sharing their facilities with the wider community, and demonstrates how innovative thinking can make public spending go further in difficult times. Tidemill School will benefit from combining resources with the Deptford Lounge – a new state-of-the-art district library that will provide a whole range of community facilities.”

Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham said: “If the legal status of the school is    changed and the ownership of that shared space brought into question this project may be at risk. The Council will need to take legal advice on the implications of the school becoming an academy for such an large project involving public funding.”

Radio 4 The Report – Who Owns England’s Schools


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