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Controversial plans to convert The Village School into academy could finally become reality in February

PUBLISHED: 17:21 17 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:21 17 December 2018

Placard-bearing protestors gathered around the gates of Kingsbury's The Village School last year. Picture: Brent NEU

Placard-bearing protestors gathered around the gates of Kingsbury's The Village School last year. Picture: Brent NEU

Archant

Controversial plans to convert a Kingsbury school into an academy could finally go through in February, according to the headteacher.

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

Plans to “academise” The Village School were approved by the Department for Education back in May, despite several strikes by teachers and protests by placard-bearing parents and members of the National Education Union (NEU).

The Kingsbury special needs school, which caters for 270 students between the ages of three and 19, will join Woodfield School to form a multi-academy trust (MAT).

According to Brent NEU, delays to the partnership had been caused by the Education and Skills Funding Agency looking into the accounts at Woodfield School.

The Village School, which is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, is a cherished part of the Kingsbury community and protesters had been fighting for it to remain a council asset.

Placard-bearing protestors gathered around the gates of Kingsbury's The Village School last year. Picture: Brent NEUPlacard-bearing protestors gathered around the gates of Kingsbury's The Village School last year. Picture: Brent NEU

Kay Charles, who has been executive headteacher of the school since September 2017, said: “The provisional date for conversion of The Village School and implementation of the MAT is February 1, 2019.”

But Kay said that she would need to confirm this to the Kilburn Times “next term”.

If the academisation of the school does finally fall into place in February, it will have been almost a year since governors gave the plans the green light in March.

They say the collaboration will help “increase educational opportunities, reduce costs, and improve our ability to influence other partners because we can speak with a single voice”.

When waving the application through, governors also promised that staff terms and conditions would be protected as previously stated.

Cllr Jumbo Chan (Lab, Kensal Green) said: “It was disappointing earlier in the year when the majority of the governing body of The Village School chose to academise despite overwhelming opposition from a coalition of parents, campaigners and of course, the outstanding, passionate and dedicated teachers and support staff.

“I urge the governing body of the school to listen to their staff, to rescind their application to become an academy as part of a MAT, and to stay with the Brent community.”

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