Opponents of Holloway special school academy proposal call for parents’ vote

Anti-academy campaigners are calling on a special school to ballot parents and staff before taking the decision to go it alone.

The Anti Academies Alliance wants the headteacher and governors of The Bridge School – which caters for 156 children with autism and serious learning disabilities – to hold a vote on whether to leave council control.

Campaigners object to the school – in two new multimillion-pound buildings in Holloway – effectively being run as a private business.

Alasdair Smith, president of Islington NUT (National Union of Teachers) and a spokesman for the Anti Academies Alliance, said: “The Islington people paid for the school’s buildings. Now it will be handed over to the governing body acting as a private business. How will it benefit the children?”

Mr Smith, who called a public meeting last Wednesday (May 9), added: “This is not being done in an open way. They refused to have a ballot of parents and staff.”

Headteacher Dr Penny Barratt said: “A simple yes or no ballot doesn’t give us their views. When they are responding to the consultation, they are saying yes or no but they are also going into detail – which is more useful.”

The governing body is to decide whether to become an academy on May 31.

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