Strikes continue at The Village School as decision over academisation plan looms

The latest round of strikes at The Village School took place last week. Photo by Brent NEU

The latest round of strikes at The Village School took place last week. Photo by Brent NEU - Credit: Archant

Placard-bearing staff have continued to go on strike as the decision looms over whether to turn The Village School into an academy.

Governors are expected to announce this week whether the Grove Park school will pursue its proposal of joining with Woodfield School to form a multi academy trust.

Staff at the National Education Union (NEU) have pledged to strike tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday in the run-up to a decision being made.

This follows three days of industrial action last week at both the school gates, as well as at Brent Civic Centre, where about 40 staff unveiled anti-academy banners, sang protest songs held a workshop class to encourage teachers to send letters into governors.

Cllr Jumbo Chan, who has been against the proposal from the start, said: “I am very proud that many of my Brent Labour group colleagues, including the leadership, are supporting the teachers and support staff of The Village School, who are being forced again this week to take action to stop their school being academised.

“I do hope the governors finally acknowledge this move as unpopular and unnecessary, and to immediately halt the misguided move towards academisation.”

Martin Powell-Davies, London regional secretary on the NEU, said, “It is astonishing that governors should be considering academisation of this school in the face of overwhelming evidence that the academies system is failing to improve pupil attainment but, instead, is resulting in an expensive, unstable, inefficient and undemocratic mess.”

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The school has always insisted that a “final decision” will not be made until after consultation with staff and parents at both schools – both of which have been under the stewardship of executive headteacher Kay Charles since September.

The consultation process finished in February.

A statement on the consultation had read: “The current context for special schools includes increasing budget pressures – as income is static or falling per pupil while costs increase – and challenges in recruitment and retention of staff.

“The schools are exploring whether forming a multi academy trust would help address these challenges.”