The Bridge special school to become academy despite teachers’ protest

PUBLISHED: 15:55 08 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:16 08 July 2016

Teachers and volunteers protesting outside The Bridge School, which is set to become an academy despite strong opposition

Teachers and volunteers protesting outside The Bridge School, which is set to become an academy despite strong opposition


A Holloway special school will become an academy despite opposition from teachers and staff.

Governors at The Bridge School, a primary and a secondary school on two sites, decided to convert the school to increase its funding levels and to retain freedom over its curriculum at a meeting on Wednesday evening.

Teachers, teaching assistants and members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) voted by 119 to 1 for the school to remain under local authority control and staged a protest outside.

But on a split vote, it was decided the school would convert.

Its primary and secondary schools share sites with Hungerford Primary School in Hungerford Road and Holloway School in Carleton Road respectively.

Islington Council said in a statement it was “disappointed” in the decision.

Executive member for children, young people and families, Cllr Joe Caluori, said: “Staff were overwhelmingly against it. I haven’t seen any evidence of enthusiasm for it from the parents.

“I feel for a decision this big it would have been much better for parents to have been more involved than they have been in the process.

“However, we still see The Bridge as an important part of our community of schools in Islington and we know the headteacher sees it that way as well.”

Teachers and union members said it was a “sad day” for the school.

Paul Atkin, from Islington NUT, said: “The Bridge was built by Islington Council on shared sites with Hungerford and Holloway schools so that special and mainstream schools could work closely together.

“The overlap of sites is now an administrative nightmare to unravel as The Bridge becomes unaccountable to the local community.”

The NUT added that the decision was “a ridiculous waste of money that could be spent on schools” as it will cost an unknown amount of legal fees to convert the school.

In a statement, The Bridge’s executive headteacher Dr Penny Barratt said: “Resources are crucial for the education we offer.

“Capital funding (only currently available to academies) would allow us to update some very tired very specialist equipment.”

She added that the school is facing year on year budget cuts, so the revenue gained from converting would prevent redundancies.

Becoming an academy would also allow the school more control over its curriculum, Dr Brown said.

She said: “There was a time when special schools were expected to teach set curricular materials.

“Becoming an academy allows us the freedom to continue to do what we know is right for our pupils, even if there is a return to a prescriptive curriculum.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 16:51

Darren Osborne, the alleged perpetrator of the Finsbury Park terror attack, sat back casually in his seat as shocking CCTV of the incident was played in court this afternoon.

Yesterday, 16:47

The two police officers driving the cars chasing Lewis Johnson before he crashed his Vespa and died in Clapton Common will not face charges, the Gazette can reveal.

Darren Osborne, the man accused of carrying out the Finsbury Park terror attack, had corresponded with far-right activist Jayda Fransen, a court heard.

Yesterday, 12:34

Plans to hold an immersive theatre show in Finsbury have led to dozens of protest letters from neighbours who say it represents a “full-on onslaught to the residential area”.

Yesterday, 11:00

Islington Council has been advised to consider sprinkler systems for all 126 of its high-rise housing blocks.

Yesterday, 09:56

A police manhunt is underway for a 21-year-old with links to Islington who failed to turn up to court on seven charges of robbery.

Mon, 19:28

Islington Council has appointed a top family lawyer to begin its probe into a former mayor’s alleged links to a pro-paedophile group.

Mon, 14:42

Hundreds of people celebrated the opening of a new community centre, as well as 23 new council homes, in Crouch Hill on Saturday.


“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now