Father wins stay of execution for comp

7th July 2006 at 01:00
A parent battling plans to replace his son's comprehensive school with an academy has won the first round of his High Court fight.

Robert Macdonald says that Merton council, London, did not consult parents enough over the proposed closure of Tamworth Manor and Mitcham Vale schools in south London.

The local authority wants to reopen both schools as privately-sponsored independent academies.

Tamworth Manor is set to be sponsored by Lord Harris of Peckham, while Mitcham Vale will be funded by the Church of England working with the not-for-profit organisation the Centre for British Teachers and the charity Toc H.

This week Mr Justice Silber gave Mr Macdonald, 39, permission to seek judicial review of the council's decision, made on March 9, 2006.

David Wolfe, acting for Mr Macdonald, whose son attends Tamworth Manor, said parents had not been provided with "essential information" during the statutory consultation process.

He added that when the consultation was taking place funding agreements, which set out academies' rules on areas such as admissions, exclusion, religious education and collective worship, "had not been formulated".

No date for a full judicial review was set.

It was the first of a series of legal challenges being stages against academies. Parents in London's Islington and the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, are preparing similar cases.

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