Petition against the approved Academy sponsor for Jerounds Community Primary School
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Jerounds Community Primary School in Harlow, Essex has been rated inadequate by OFSTED. This is the only way in which a school can be forced to become an Academy.
The inadequate grading that was given was mainly due to administrative failings. These failings were rectified almost immediately and if inspected again tomorrow, then there would surely be a different outcome. This year, the KS2 (Year 6) students at Jerounds achieved the highest SATs results that the school has ever had and achieved above the national standard in every subject. The SATs results for KS1 (Year 2) also achieved above the national standard in every subject. This is testament to the success of the school and evidence that they are not an inadequate school as per OFSTED's inspection.
Jerounds has always been very community focused with a strong local ethos, but is faced with a takeover from a large impersonal Academy Trust.
Jerounds has a warm and friendly environment and dedicated teaching staff, who work closely in partnership with the parents. Parents at the school were today told of the plans that have been made for the school to be sponsored by a faceless nationwide sponsor. We, the parents are extremely saddened by the decision that has been made and do not feel that it is the right decision for our children. We feel that the community ethos will be taken away by allowing this Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) to takeover. We believe that the school should have the right to decide what is best for future of the school and the education of our children.
The said Academy Trust has taken over four local poorly performing Primary Schools (according to their recent OFSTED reports). The most recent takeover reportedly resulted in the resignation of the entire Senior Leadership Team. The other schools are also reported to have had a large number of teaching staff leave through redundancy and resignation with those leaving reportedly complaining about how those children that are vulnerable have been treated. This is not what we want for our school.
Jerounds has a vulnerable group of SEN children and the takeover from this nationwide Academy Trust could have a negative impact on them. Jerounds are proud to have again been awarded with the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) this year, which 'promotes equal opportunities for all pupils, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, background and attainment. It pays particular attention to the provision made for, and the achievement of, different groups of pupils who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion.' We believe that in order for this to remain the case Jerounds would be better sponsored by a small local MAT.
Despite a small local MAT putting in a bid to sponsor Jerounds, we have been told that Jerounds is to be taken over by this nationwide sponsor, with no explanation given as to why the smaller local MAT was not chosen. The executive head of this small MAT was the headteacher of Jerounds Infant School before the current headteacher at Jerounds took over, and so would have a good understanding of the school and is familiar with the local area that the school serves. She has also worked closely supporting local schools that have received poor OFSTED results within Harlow and the surrounding area over the years, which has seen her named a Local Leader of Education. We demand an explanation as to why the local MAT's bid to sponsor Jerounds Community Primary School was rejected.
We petition the Secretary of State for Education and the Regional Schools Commissioner for East of England and North-East London to reconsider their decision and request that Jerounds Community Primary School remains in local management with a local Primary Trust approved for takeover.
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