DfE and their academies czar have been left red faced after a high profile and controversial conversion of a school to academy status ground to a halt — after parents pointed out that the process was, like, illegal and stuff.
After attempting to run a sham consultation which reportedly didn’t ask parents whether they actually supported or opposed the move, threats of a judicial review forced governors at Prendergast School in Lewisham to admit that the proposal was “likely to be found not compliant with the regulations in respect of academy orders”.
The plans have been pulled along with two other conversions of schools operated by the Leathersellers’ Federation.
This is just slightly embarrassing, given that conversions were being advised by none other than England’s national schools commissioner Frank Green — a Michael Gove-era appointee charged with boosting the take up of academy status.
A parent source told the Guardian:
“Prendergast parents were shocked to discover Green has been an adviser to the proposal. This shows that academisation is being driven ahead by powerful interests far removed from communities.”
DfE are describing the difficulty as a “technicality”.
Yeah. Technically not legal.