TEACHERS at Village Infants School in Dagenham in Essex, a local authority community school, have won their fight against incorporation into an amalgamated school with William Ford Junior. William Ford is a Voluntary Aided Church of England school, so the move would have meant a change of status to a religious school for Village, as well as a change of employer from the Local Authority to the Diocese of Chelmsford.
Substantial opposition to the move was built across teachers, parents and governors from both schools, with nearly 700 signing a petition against it. In July, NUT members at Village staged three days of strike action. The NUT rep at Village, Yolanda Cattle, said they had been reluctant to close the school but “by going on strike we realised we were fighting to save a community school for local children, so we had to continue”.
In the face of such opposition, the governors at William Ford voted against the proposal. The council has withdrawn the decision to amalgamate. ■