Retain Single Gender Education
This petition had 234 supporters
The Crest Academies in Neasden, formerly registered as The Crest Academy for Girls and The Crest Academy for Boys were, prior to 2009, under local authority governance. Generations have known these schools as John Kelly Girls’ and Boys’ School which have had a long reputation in Brent for uniquely providing single-gender education for boys and girls for nearly sixty years.
Since its inception, education has been delivered to boys and girls in separate buildings and classrooms on the same campus. Historically, this method of delivery has always been preferred by parents from the conception of the schools, in 1958, to the present day. The London Borough of Brent is one of the most diverse communities in the UK with a range of cultural, religious, social needs and preferences. As a consequence, the school has strongly remained a first choice of preference for parents in Brent as it caters for single-gender education.
In 2013/14, E-ACT (the academy sponsor) and the senior leadership team of the school, consulted widely over a two month period with parents regarding merging the boys‘ and girls’ school into one entity to become The Crest Academies. The rationale behind this merger was an administrative cost reduction exercise which included the sharing of teaching staff across both sites. The parents were consistently assured that these changes would have no impact on single-gender classes for years seven to eleven. Refer to statement in the school newsletter at the time (Edition 5).*
At the same time, the school was implementing a substantial new build project to transform its 50 year old facility. The building plans and all associated documentation clearly stated at the time that the explicit intention was to maintain a separate infrastructure for boys and girls.** (These documents can be found in the links below)
Since September 2014, in the new building, students have been taught separately as previously but housed in two inter-connected sites with a shared single teaching workforce. Ofsted inspected the school in November 2014, grading it as ‘inadequate’ while making no mention or reference to the school’s practice of single-gender teaching. In contrast, this year, in January 2015, Ofsted’s follow up report decided to highlight this issue and consequently expects the school ‘to ensure opportunities for social interaction and equality of opportunity are promoted fully.’
In June 2015, parents were informed of a proposal to fully implement and deliver mixed-gender education. The school leadership has not provided any conclusive evidence that a mixed school would better perform and provide equality for all.
Parents are highly concerned and are openly seeking to resist this draconian measure in the school’s delivery of learning and teaching.
As the petitioner and as a Crest Academy parent I urge you to sign this petition in support of the above facts and information. As parents we have the right to exercise choice for our children, however, in this instance we have not consented to any changes nor been fairly consulted.
The London Borough of Brent’s schools are already impoverished and heavily oversubscribed.
In final summation, oppose the plans of The Crest Academies (managed by E-ACT) for the following compelling reasons:
1. Sign, say ‘no’ and stand against the imposition of our school becoming a mixed-gender school
2. Sign, support us and show your dissatisfaction with such a short time to consult, in contrast to two months of consultation in 2013/4
3. Sign, share and speak the truth that we do not have a comparable girls’ or boys’ school in Brent for our children
4. Sign, stand together and support all the poorly served and let down children who have no choice or a voice
*Crest Newsletter - Edition 5 (published in year 2013-2014)
Phil Hearne, Executive Principal CONSULTATION RESULTS
“The formal consultation ran from 25 November 2013 to 24 January 2014, and an overwhelming 80% of those responding said they support the continuation of single-sex education. One of the issues that has concerned people though is whether girls and boys will mix. They will not: both classes and social time will continue to be single gender at all times.
The changes we are making are all about making the Crest Academies the very best single-sex school in the area. We want Crest to be the school of choice for any parent who values girls and boys being taught separately. This is something that both I and the Board of Governors are extremely passionate about Crest to be the school of choice for any parent who values girls and boys being taught separately"
**Building plans and documents below, click each link to view:
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