On Sunday 28th April parents, students and staff from Waltham Holy Cross school marched through Waltham Abbey to oppose the school being handed over to the NET Academy Trust.
We issued this statement in support of the campaign ahead of the march.
From the start of the Hands Off Waltham Holy Cross campaign the work of Jay, Shaunagh and the rest of the team has been astounding and inspirational.
From finding out that work on transferring the school to the NET Academies Trust had begun before the OFSTED report was even published, to gaining national media coverage as more and more evidence of backroom secrecy, misinformation and attempts to shut down opposition have been uncovered, the bravery, tenacity and hard work they have put in can’t be overstated.
Ultimately the whole situation has arisen as a direct result of the government’s Education and Adoption Act 2016, which forces all schools which fail an OFSTED report to become academies, regardless of local circumstances and the wishes of parents, staff and students.
Fighting the local impacts of national policy is never easy, particularly when the vast majority of local elected politicians represent the party which imposed it. However, the Waltham Holy Cross campaigners have shown that it’s always worth having a go – they are a credit to the school and to Waltham Abbey’s community. We should all be proud of them.
We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to support the campaign from the start and, whatever happens on Thursday, we’ll continue to do what we can to help.
Waltham Abbey’s Green Party local election candidates.
Rebecca Fricker, the Green Party’s candidate for Waltham Abbey North East, is unable to comment on education issues.
Dave live-streamed from the start of the march.