Thameside Infants and Juniors: Government reject council proposals

THE POLITICAL war between the local education authority (LEA) and the government over academy schools has entered the next level as the government rejected the LEA’s plans for Thameside Infants and Juniors to amalgamate as a community school.

At last night’s meeting of the council’s cabinet a letter from the Department for Education was published.

It said: “The Department favours a more innovative solution to improve standards other than put forward by the LA”

Recently the junior school had been rated as inadequate by Ofsted but the appointment of Executive Head, Mark Jones had arrested that decline.

The move will be seen as further proof that the Coalition government sees Thurrock as a “breeding ground” for their Academy ideology.

With nearly every senior school taking the opportunity to apply for academy status. The question has been whether their will be a domino effect with the primary schools.

With Gateway Academy planning to develop a primary school in their Tilbury grounds, the Thameside proposal will create serious concerns for many that by the next general election, all schools in Thurrock will be outwith LEA control.

Portfolio holder Diana Hale outlined the options to the cabinet.

She said: “The matter goes back out to consultation. We have a series of options. We suggest looking at option 5 which would give consideration to academy option.

“We may also want to include the model of a trust or a co-operative”.

Cabinet agreed to the recommendations.

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