Village School: Union’s shock as plan to convert Kingsbury school into academy is approved by education bosses

Placard-bearing protestors gather around the gates of Kingsbury's The Village School during a previo

Placard-bearing protestors gather around the gates of Kingsbury's The Village School during a previous protest. Picture: Brent NEU - Credit: Archant

Plans to convert The Village School into an academy have been approved by the Department for Education.

According to the National Education Union, which has held several protests against the move after the six months, staff were told on Friday that the academisation proposal had been accepted.

The Kingsbury special needs school will join Woodfield School to form a multi-academy trust (MAT), starting in September.

The news has a come as a surprise blow to the NEU, which had hailed a victory for the anti-academy campaigners in April, believing the plan had been turned down due to the proposed trust “not being big enough”.

Strike action at the school had been mooted by union officials for Thursday, but this has now been postponed.

Hank Roberts of the NEU said: “We salute the NEU members at The Village School for their magnificent anti-academy campaign to stop the privatisation of their flagship special school.

“The union is now looking at taking legal action through a judicial review. We will continue to fight academisation at every step.”

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The school, which caters for 270 students between the ages of three and 19, is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted and protesters had been fighting for it to remain a council asset.

Cllr Jumbo Chan, who has campaigned against the academy plans from the start, said: “It was incredibly disappointing that the governing body – despite intense opposition from campaigners, parents and the school’s dedicated and passionate teachers and support staff – chose to academise.

“I offer my continued solidarity and support to the school’s outstanding staff, who deserve an absolute guarantee to the long-term security of their jobs.”

Kay Charles, who has been executive headteacher of the school since September, said: “I can confirm on behalf of both governing bodies, that the DfE has approved the MAT between the two schools. We are aiming for this to be implemented in September.”