Deptford says no to Tidemill becoming an academy

Tidemill Primary School

» by

Parents and the community in Deptford need to be informed and consulted about the proposals being rushed through to convert Tidemill Primary School to an academy, with the intent of making a profit.

Tidemill Primary School headmaster Mark Elms is proposing that the school become an academy.

Emotions run high whenever our children’s education is involved. For me, it is all the more personal as I have been an educator for the last 25 years and I am passionate about education and the transformative outcomes.

In a recent letter in the Guardian (14 April 2010), Mark Elms signs his name to: (and I quote)

“There is absolutely no research consensus around the achievements of Swedish “free schools” or American charter schools. A few flatpack free schools will not reform a national system.” – Letter to The Guardian

  • The governors have registered an online interest in Tidemill becoming an academy.
  • On the 7th July, the school provided a questionnaire to ask them to tick if they required information about academy status.
  • A cut and paste letter (please see attached) complete with FAQs, selectively edited segments from the government website, was handed to children on the 19th July for their parents. The school stated that the governors have begun a period of consultation to gather views of parents and staff to span the next two months (i.e. during summer holidays).
  • On the 8th September at 8am to 9am (1 hour only) a meeting is arranged for parents to share their views, after which the governors go into a meeting to finalise their decision about academy status.
  • In the July newsletter Mark Elms states that they are planning to canvas 5 parents from each class (“randomly selected”) to run through questions on how they “feel about the Academy issue”.
  • Parents with questions are invited to email during the holiday break.

Of course we should explore new ideas, but let us support them with our eyes fully open.

– Leila Galloway



For more information, contact:

  • Leila Galloway
  • LG
    8:29 pm on August 22nd, 2010 1

  • Valerie Weber
    6:38 pm on November 8th, 2010 2

    I attended Tidemill from 1958-1964. Back then the Head (of the Juniors, which was separately led from the Infants) Mr Parkhouse was wonderful, and rather than being paid a huge sum to run the school, literally gave his all when he had a heart attack and died in assembly one morning.

    I imagine he is turning in his grave at the proposal Elms and the governors are making.

    Back in the Eleven+ days, not many people passed and went to grammar school, but most were well-enough educated to make a huge success in their lives. When a group of us met up a few years ago to catch up with our old teacher, Miss Silson (who is alive and kicking in her 70s) as a graduate teacher I was probably the least well-off of the bunch. We all owe her, Mr Parkhouse and the school a great deal. This change would be to spit in their eyes, and ours.

You must be logged in to post a comment.