Published: Tuesday, 12th June 2018
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Danny Thorpe, has released a statement.
Royal Greenwich has today received a letter from the unelected Regional Schools' Commissioner seeking to impose an academy chain, the Universities' Schools Trust, as the new sponsor for The John Roan School.
Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council
"I am deeply disappointed that the Regional Schools' Commissioner has chosen to rush ahead and issue the order to academise John Roan School.
"As a new Leader coming into post, one of the first things I did was to reach out and seek a meeting, in anticipation of a poor Ofsted report. That meeting is confirmed for 27 June. At that meeting, I was intending to discuss with the Regional Schools' Commissioner how the Local Authority could work with the school to drive up standards, to ensure all pupils were receiving a good education.
"I also wanted to work with the Headteacher, to support the changes she is making, as these are clearly recognised in the Ofsted report as a force for good.
"As a teacher myself, I know full well that it is the standards of education, not the structures of governance that make a difference to children and young people in the end.
"We are determined to do all that we can to keep the John Roan School in the Greenwich family of schools".
Cllr David Gardner, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Schools
"While the 2016 Academies and Education and Adoption Act places a duty on the Secretary of State to issue an academy order following an inadequate judgement by OfSTED, we strongly believe that significant progress has been made since the inspection and the best way to continue to improve the school performance while maintaining its unique ethos as a school rooted in the local community is to be supported by the local authority and other schools.
"We were elected to power in Greenwich on a clear platform of resisting academisation.
"However, as councillors we have a duty to work with all schools and support all our children and will campaign for the best deal for students, parents, staff and the community in all schools - academies, free schools, faith schools or community schools.
"We will continue to work with local MPs to campaign for a change of Government policy and the law, but in the case of The John Roan hope that the Governing Body and Foundation will join the council in focusing on the immediate priority of supporting the continued turnaround of the School, restoring the OfSTED rating of Good, and will take a rigorous and deliberative approach to the proposed conversion."