Staff at Copland Community School in Wembley considering legal action to halt academy plans
PUBLISHED: 14:32 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:43 07 February 2014
Staff at a secondary school in Wembley are contemplating legal action to halt plans to convert to an academy, it has been revealed.
Workers at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue have asked union bosses to see if the courts can prevent Ark Academy from taking over in September.
The revelation comes as students joined workers at the school to stage a sixth strike yesterday over the plans.
Staff claim the school’s Interim Executive Board (IEB) carried out an inadequate consultation into the plans and are refusing to communicate with them.
Last month a motion of no confidence in the IEB was passed at a joint union meeting involving the school’s staff.
Hank Roberts, a geography teacher at the school is also the Brent branch secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
He said: “The unions offered to call off the strike if the parents were given an independently overseen ballot but the IEB refused to communicate at all with the local unions.
“Copland IEB’s so called consultation was laughingly inadequate.
“Staff have asked that a possible legal challenge be looked at as well as a complaint being made to all relevant authorities.”
The plans were announced in May last year after the school was placed into special measures by Ofsted inspectors.
Under current government rules schools in special measures are converted into academies.
Copland is the last school in the borough under the control of Brent Council.
Grahame Price, chair of the school’s IEB, said: “It is extremely disappointing that the trade unions have decided to take strike action for the sixth time today. I would urge the unions to think carefully about the impact this has on children’s education and the disruption caused to families.
“Our priority is to continue to improve the quality of teaching and learning at Copland for all our pupils. As chair of the interim executive board of Copland, I have had a number of meetings with staff and parents to discuss the proposal for Copland to become an academy.
“By supporting the school to become an Ark Academy we intend to secure a bright future for the school and the future success of its students.”
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