First primary school in East End votes to become an academy

School governors have voted to go ahead with plans for the first State primary in London’s East End to become an academy.

The controversial vote at Sir William Burrough in Limehouse came two days after a protest meeting by teachers and parents against the school opting out of local authority control.

The governors rejected a petition calling for a delay and to extend the public consultation, which also claimed many parents were being coerced into agreeing to opt out.

Chair of governors Dennis Twome said after the vote: “We took note of the petition and looked into the allegations and found no evidence of coercion.

“We have run an honest campaign, done our best to communicate advantages of an academy as we see them and the potential risks.”

The vote by the eight board members, including two parent governors, was unanimous after a 40-minute discussion.

The protest meeting two nights ago called for a secret ballot of all parents and another for teachers before the school opts out.

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Teachers’ union Tower Hamlets secretary Alex Kenny (pictured) warned: “The funds the school would get directly from Whitehall will be taken away from Tower Hamlets—it would no longer be accountable to a locally-elected authority, but to the Secretary of Sate.”

The school is on a �2 million annual budget which it says could mean teacher job cuts in two years if it didn’t become an academy which would give it another �350,000 from Whitehall over the next three years.