There has been a call to “pause the academisation process” of a school after it was found to be ‘inadequate’ in an Ofsted inspection.

Byron Court Primary School in North Wembley was ordered to become an academy by the Department for Education (DfE) after it dropped from an ‘outstanding’ rating in 2012 to being ‘inadequate’ following an inspection in November last year.

Inspectors from the education watchdog said the school’s leadership was “overwhelmed”.

The order to become an academy after an ‘inadequate’ rating is in accordance with government policy – despite a backlash from parents, staff and the Brent National Education Union.

Brent & Kilburn Times: 'Save Byron Court' campaigners in March'Save Byron Court' campaigners in March (Image: Save Byron Court)

Although Brent Council said that its hands were tied in preventing the decision, the council’s lead member for children, young people and schools, has pleaded that the Secretary of State for Schools reconsiders the decision.

Cllr Gwen Grahl wrote: “Byron Court Primary School is well-known for many years of excellent educational provision.

“While a recent Ofsted report outlined shortcomings in several areas of the school, the Department for Education has not offered the school a meaningful opportunity for improvement and reinspection.”

She added there has since been work to “initiate meaningful change” and claimed there was “minimal consultation or engagement with those whom this decision impacts”.

Citing a survey previously shared to the Brent & Kilburn Times by the ‘Save Byron Court’ campaign group, she noted how 62 per cent of parents believe that the school should remain a community school.

Cllr Grahl added: “I am therefore asking you to intervene to pause the academisation process at Byron Court, allow the local authority and school leadership to address the problems identified by Ofsted and ensure that another inspection can take place ahead of any long-term decisions about academisation.”

Parents gathered outside the school yesterday (April 16) for a second time as part of a protest to stop the forced academisation.

After being told by Brent Council that it could not intervene with the decision, Tanisha Phoenix, a member of the group, said: “We are of course disappointed by the response from the council at present, but this does not halt our campaign.”

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.