Despite massive opposition from local councillors, parents, teachers and members of the community, the governing body of Tidemill School in Deptford voted earlier this month to submit another application for academy status.
The previous one was withdrawn after what the school described as 'a legal challenge', although no further information has been forthcoming about this, and at a meeting at the beginning of May, the governing body voted to go forward with the application.
Quite aside from the arguments against academy status per se, there has been no consultation with the local community about this proposal. This is particularly worrying since the school is set to relocate shortly into a brand new building specifically designed to create greater links between Tidemill school and the local community. The building will house the school, a local library and various other community services in what is intended to be a combined facility. If the school is no longer under the control of the local education authority, it raises all kinds of questions about the legal ownership and status of the different parts of the buildings, and there is still no indication of how these issues will be resolved (or who will pay for them).
It's possible that this application could be signed off within a matter of weeks. Campaigner Leila Galloway is asking anyone who supports the effort to prevent Tidemill school gaining academy status to write to the chair of governors Keith Geary with their objections.
The address for emails is: ChairofGovs.Tidemill@gmail.com and it should be copied to
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and cllrPaul.Maslin@lewisham.gov.uk
Please bcc: firstname.lastname@example.org as she will need a copy for legal evidence.
Many of the arguments and objections are set out on the campaign website here or within Leila's letter which was sent before the latest decision.