London

Teachers strike over Wembley academy plans

  • 23 May 2013
  • From the section London

A strike by teachers over plans to create an academy has closed a secondary school in north-west London.

The majority of teachers at Copland Community School in Wembley have walked out but exams have continued.

The change was proposed after the school was labelled "inadequate" by Ofsted.

The Department for Education said it believed the support of a strong sponsor was the best way to help the school improve quickly.

'No evidence'

But members of education unions ATL, NASUWT and NUT formed a picket line earlier in protest at the move.

Image caption In March, Year 8 pupil Khadija showed the BBC that parts of her school have fallen into disrepair for BBC School Report

Head teacher Graeme Plinkett said in the latest school newsletter that the school was about to enter a "new and exciting phase in its history".

The Ofsted report published on 2 May said: "Achievement is inadequate, standards are low, GCSE results are significantly below average and too much work in students' books is not good enough."

The school is currently in special measures.

The former head teacher, Sir Alan Davies, and five others have been charged with fraud after £2.7m disappeared from the school budget. They have denied the charges.

Staff say the gap in funds has left the school short of resources which are needed to improve results.

Teacher Hank Roberts added: "There's no evidence that becoming an academy automatically improves education. In fact there's lots of evidence that it doesn't."

The government says there have been discussions about the future of the school and nothing has yet been decided.

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