Teachers at a school in Wembley have gone on strike dressed as Santa in protest over academy proposals.
Staff from Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, dressed up as Father Christmas and went on strike on Tuesday over the proposal to turn the secondary school in to an academy.
The school was put in special measures after an Ofsted inspection in May rated it is 'Inadquate' and Brent Council is running a consultation about the choice of sponsor for the school, with ARK Schools the suggested chosen sponsor.
Striking staff and union representatives met at The Torch pub in Bridge Road, Wembley, in opposition to ARK Schools taking over the school and staged a demonstration outside Ark Academy in Bridge Road, Wembley, which is run by the organisation.
Hank Roberts, ATL secretary and immediate past president, said: “Stanley Fink, a leading ARK trustee, is the national treasurer of the Conservative Party and a friend of Michael Gove.
"He supports Gove’s and the Conservatives’ policy, as revealed in The Independent, of handing over state schools to be run for profit. “They’re not in it for charitable giving. If they want to give Copland money we’d welcome it. Long term, they’re for taking money out of the system to add to the many millions they already have.”
Lesley Gouldbourne, joint NUT secretary for Brent, said: “A recent leadership review of Copland carried out in October 2013 showed many improvements in teaching and learning and more robust financial management. Give the school time to continue this good work.”
An ARK spokesperson said: “As nearby Ark Academy shows, which is rated as outstanding by Ofsted, we believe that ARK Schools could support staff and pupils at Copland to improve standards and deliver the results that parents want to see. It’s important to know that ARK Schools is a charity, and is entirely not-for-profit. ARK schools are funded by the government in the same way as maintained schools. ARK Schools fundraises to raise money to pay for other extra-curricular activities that are an important part of pupils’ education. ARK Schools and its trustees do not make any profit from running schools – never have, never will.”