Governors apply for Swiss Cottage School to be turned into academy
PUBLISHED: 12:20 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:30 27 February 2017
Governors have applied for Swiss Cottage School to be turned into an academy despite only seven parents backing the proposal in a consultation.
The school, which caters for children aged between two and 19 with special needs and is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, held a consultation with parents, staff and members of the leadership team to discuss plans to break away from Camden Council control and become an academy.
A protest was held outside the school gates last week, before “a substantial majority” of governors voted to apply to the Department for Education for academy conversion alongside an ‘empty’ multi-academy trust.
Chair of governors Peter Sprinz said: “Our motivation for applying to be an academy is that we are turning students away every week.
“We are oversubscribed and there is a crisis for school places in Camden.”
Despite admitting that he was “disappointed” with the consultation turnout – which saw 79 per cent of parents not responding – Mr Sprinz said the process had been “incredibly extensive”.
According to the consultation results, seven out of 230 parents supported the proposal and 25 rejected it.
A dozen teachers who took part in the survey said “no” to the plans, three times as many as the total who supported it. In contrast 13 out of 20 members of the leadership team supported the plans, with three rejecting it.
Hugo Pierre from Camden UNISON said: “The governors have not persuaded the vast majority of UNISON members, teachers or parents that this is a good move for Swiss Cottage School.
“The school provides good support for their students, the vast majority of whom live in Camden. There is no pressure on them to make this move since the government abandoned its plans to force all schools to become an academy.
“Now governors have set themselves against those providing this excellent support.”
Mr Sprinz said governors are co-operating with UNISON members and have allowed the group to hold a meeting at the school.
For a full breakdown of the consultation responses visit the ‘news’ section at swisscottage.camden.sch.uk.