Parents are still fighting to stop Net Academies Trust take over Waltham Holy Cross
Parents fighting to stop their children’s school becoming an academy have launched a petition as their campaign rumbles on.
In December last year Waltham Holy Cross primary was judged ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, the poor rating meaning the Waltham Abbey based school would have to become an academy.
In the months after it was announced Net Academies Trust would run the school in May, supporters of headteacher Erica Barnet, and the reforms she has brought in since former trust operators Lilac Sky left several years, have fought hard to have the Ofsted judgement and academisation order overturned.
Parent Shaunagh-Rose Roberts has been lobbying to this effect, pushing Essex County Council and Ofsted to clarify their decision making processes, whipping the academy opponents into shape and now launching a petition urging another inspection take place before academisation.
She said: “I remember being excited about the future of the school and feeling safe in the knowledge that my children’s education would be focused on curiosity, confidence building, nurturing individual talents and embracing creativity.
“We, along with hundreds of other parents, have seen the evidence of these values and principles every day.
“We see the happiness, joy and progress in our children every day.
“And we see the excitement, enthusiasm & eagerness to learn every morning
“There’s a good chance that everything we love and cherish about the school today will be forced to change.”
Murray Sackwild, general secretary of the National Education Union, met with the school’s teachers last week and heard how some feared being part of a large education trust.
He said: “They have no desire to have a different working day and year imposed on them, be forced to participate in meetings in Harlow and teach the same lessons at the same times, with exactly the same content, as teachers at Harlow NET schools.
“They see this erosion of their professionalism as detrimental to the needs of the children at Waltham Holy Cross.
“The National Education Union supports the teachers, support staff, parents and children at Waltham Holy Cross.
“They are united in their desire to deliver an outstanding education and meet the specific needs of young people in the area – working together in a wholly supportive environment.”
An Ofsted spokesperson has previously refused to say whether the governmental body would consider re-inspecting the school, but argued it was ‘confident’ the report was an ‘accurate reflection of the school’.
To sign the petition go to www.saveourschool.org.uk/petition/
Note: I think they meant “General Secretary of Harlow+Epping Forest NEU”