Roke Primary is a victim

29th March 2013 at 00:00

We are two parents from Roke Primary, the focus of Gerard Kelly's editorial on forced academies ("When change is elusive, it's time to get tough", 15 March).

We have no political agenda but are fed up with lazy, sound-bite journalism. He accuses parents of being "subjective" about standards yet ignores clear, objective evidence that Roke is not failing, "dire" or "unwilling to change". We chose an outstanding school based on ethos and results. Performance wavered after key staff retired but recovered quickly with results back above the national average. Yet the Department for Education imposed conversion to academy status only six weeks of term-time after Ofsted visited, bullying our governors and running a fake and costly consultation. Ofsted judged Roke to be already making improvement as a community school. Let's be clear, this is not about raising standards but political ideology and a desire to remove schools from local authority control. Roke is victim of a veiled push to increase academy numbers before the next election.

Mr Kelly asks why we don't demand academy chains such as Harris. We will tell him why. Their record at primary level is limited and unimpressive. As an educational charity, surely Harris should go where it is most needed rather than foisting itself on an essentially solid school.

J. Hearn and K. Lindley, Croydon.

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