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Ballot On Academy Conversion

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ballot Of Parents At Barking And Dagenham School Over Conversion To Academy Status Closes On 20th December

REAch 2 should accept the decision of parents if they vote to maintain their local freedom, under the Localism Act, to keep Dorothy Barley School under the local education authority control says GMB

GMB, the union for school support staff, welcomes the decision by Barking and Dagenham Council to send out, on 11th December, ballot papers to all parents with children at Dorothy Barley School to vote on the conversion to academy status.

The parents have to return the ballot paper by 20th December as that is the deadline set by the Independent Board set up to oversee the consultations on conversion to academy status.

The Department for Education (Dfe) have appointed a sponsor REAch 2, who it has been reported have a close relationship with the Dfe to run the Academy Trust at Dorothy Barley School if the conversion takes place.

GMB understand that it is also possible that this Trust will also try to coerce Warren Secondary School into converting to academy status

REAch 2 is a multi academy trust of primary schools which developed out of Hillyfield  academy in Waltham Forrest.

Keith Williams, GMB Organiser, said“ Barking and Dagenham council last week passed the motion instructing schools that a binding referendum/ballot with parents must be undertaken by schools that are in a consultation period on conversion to academy status.

REAch 2 promotes in it’s organisational structures a central principle of promoting local freedom and governance.  REAch 2 should accept the wishes of parents and the wider community if they vote to maintain their local freedom under the Localism Act to keep Dorothy Barley School under the local education authority.

There was a public meeting on the evening of 10th December attended by around 70 people, along with the Director of Education and local Councillors. The parents at the meeting voted overwhelming against the forced academy conversion.

There is a further consultation meeting with the trade unions and the independent board tomorrow 12th December. This will be very interesting given the response from parents at the public meeting.”


Contact: Keith Williams, GMB Organiser on 07710 631339 or Gary Doolan, GMB Political Officer on Colin Greer, GMB Organiser on 07974 249745, Mick Vivian, GMB Organiser on 07974 251826 or Daren Parmenter, GMB Organiser on 07725 791833 or GMB Press Office: 07974 251823 or 07921 289880.


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