​John Roan NEU stood alongside their GMB co-workers on November 29th, refusing to cross the picket line, despite having to lose a days pay. Please consider coming to the public meeting on the 6th December (details below) as teachers and all concerned about the Ofsted Report and the UST contract want to engage with the community and parents regarding why they are striking in the face of this forced academisation. If you wish to donate to a fund to help teachers who have given up pay in solidarity with the GMB you can go to a Go Fund Me page set up by supporting parents: 
Go Fund Me

GMB take Action
John Roan GMB members voted unanimously for strike action on Thursday 29th November. UST's refusal to assure the members that their terms and conditions will stay the same, that no redundancies will take place and that they would sign up to union recognition has pushed them to take this action.

Parents and Teachers fight gets National Coverage!!!!

Action by the JR NEU and the community pressure group JR Resists have been covered by the Guardian and Schools Improvement Net - and the fight to stop the forced Academisation has been supported by Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Angela Rayner and the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.  Read more about this and upcoming events including an update on the Save John Roan! Lobby Greenwich Council Cabinet on the 14th November, and how the Council decision to approve UST was deferred in the face of inadequate due diligence in News & Events. 

NEU Press Statement
​6th November 

Sign and Share our Petition to end Forced Academisation...

Read Parents Update on their Legal Campaign 

Sherington School Staff say no!
​Read more here

Greenwich Councillor John Fahy makes formal complaint over JR Foundation's Conduct. Read more in News&Events.

September / October 2018 update

Cath Smith met with prospective year 6 parents on the morning of the 9th of October.  She was asked about the future and the academisation of John Roan. She told parents she was brought in by the UST to help with the transition from LA school to academy under the UST. Very strange..🤔🤔She was appointed in February and the school was inspected by Ofsted in March.!!
How did she know she was going to help with the transition to academisation if we hadn't yet been ‘failed’ by OFSTED? 
More proof of a complete stitch-up of The John Roan by UST and Ofsted. 😡The truth will out. SAVE OUR SCHOOL!

National News
The Government has updated its list of Academy trusts that have had notices about poor performance. Please have a look to see why as teachers we are committed to keeping TJR a community run school.  Click HERE.
​And in keeping with the increasing dissatisfaction with the privatisation of the management of our public schools  read what TES has to say in the following article... among other things it points out that by the DfE's own admission 70% of MATs are at high or moderate risk of failing - : "Has the entire academisation programme been worth it?".   
Nationally there is growing disquiet about how schools are being handed over to private Academy Trusts. Read more in the News & Events Section.
August 2018 update
So far the campaign has achieved a number of successes. Our school opens as an Local Authority school in September and we have prevented the UST from gaining ownership and control of the assets of our school this academic term. As of yet, and no funding agreement has been signed.  
If the Ofsted judgement is challenged then the academy order on which it is based is also put on halt. This means that we can focus our attention on making sure that our school can support our students as a community school that celebrates our inclusive and caring approach as part of the family of local authority schools.

We are urging that the Governing Body, who had stated publicly that they oppose academisation, support this challenge as the best way of defending our school against privatisation.

Please email our new Chair of Governors, Jill Todd urging the Governing Body to support the legal challenge.

Their next Governing Body meeting takes place on Monday 24 September 2018.

Teachers Strike against Academisation


Over 300 Parents, Students and Past Students have signed a letter urging David Skinner to investigate the conflicts of interests surrounding the proposed January take over of the School by UST. Read the letter in full HERE
 Head Teachers speak out about the impact of School Funding Cuts HERE and HERE. Their message is tell every parent and teacher you know!

​Keep an eye on Rescue Our Schools FB page HERE for updates and great articles on education including recent coverage of how Head Teachers are arguing against the cuts to school funding and growing community resistance to the Academy Project.​
 Watch the Speakers at the JR Public Meeting June 26th HERE

Legal Challenge to Ofsted could halt academy process

Parents have raised over £2000 for their legal campaign. They have agreed to support the staff legal challenge that is being instigated by the NEU as the most likely route to successfully halting the academisation process.

We will keep supporters updated  as we get more information.

NEU Message to Parents June 2018


Why we are saying NO to the Academisation of JR

Dear friends and supporters,
The John Roan School was issued with an Academy Order on the 12th June. The staff received a letter the very next day from University Schools Trust stating that the Regional Schools Commisioner had nominated them to be the preferred sponsor. The letter went on to say that the Governing Body had voted on the 11th June (before the Academy Order had been issued) to accept the UST as a sponsor and that the John Roan Foundation had also written to the UST in support of their sponsorship, subject to their due deligence checks.

The JR NEU are concerned on many fronts with these developments. The speed and lack of transparency of these actions by both the Governing Body and the Foundation do a disservice to the students, staff, parents and local community to which the John Roan School and assets were put in trust for.  Parents were not given any voice in this process and there seems no willingness to work with the LA and in collaboration with organisations such as the UST instead of handing over community assets on a 125 year lease.  What were the arguments given at any Governing Body meeting on this issue. Can staff and the wider community get access to the minutes of this June 11th meeting? Was the decisions by the GB and the Foundation unanimous and can the Foundation hand over the assets it is entrusted to keep within community hands to a private company without ANY consulation with the local community? 
The letter to parents on the school website makes no mention of the MAT University Schools Trust. When are parents to be informed of this decision?
We urge any concerned staff or parents to contact the Regional Schools Commissioner, Dominic Herrington, and register their concern regarding the speed and opaque manner at which this change in the management structure is taking place.  Please consider emailing him in regards to this and requesting that he still considers giving the new head teacher time to work with the LA on a school improvement plan.  His contact details are rsc.sesl@education.gsi.gov.uk. 

The role of the John Roan Foundation trustees are also crucial here. John Roan bequeated his estate in trust to educate Greenwich children in 1644 and the JR Foundation still manages the income from this trust. Assets include several properties in Greenwich, the John Roan Maze Hill school site, and the John Roan Playing Fields.  There are questions to be answered on why the Foundation trustees agreed to hand over these assets to the UST without any attempt to reach out to the wider school community for consulation.
 More information about the role of the foundation and the trustees can be found on the School website here... , though sadly no indication of what role each member plays on the trustee board or contact details are given. Members include members of staff, parents and ex governors. If you wish to contact the Foundation please email Linda Nelson or Chris Strong via their role as Foundation Governors at governors@thejohnroan.greenwich.sch.uk.
Not only does the JR Foundation manage considerable financial assets but they also could be instrumental in leading the way towards a full and open consulation on the future of the school. We urge all concerned staff and parents to contact them so that they can clarify their position and explain why they voted to hand over the Maze Hill site and playing fields in such a speedy and non-transparent manner.
More information on the Governing Body itself can be found on the school website here. Please contact them if you have any questions about why they have not held a parental consulation on the issue of Academisation.

The John Roan NEU are totally opposed to academisation - it is failed system. There is no evidence that academies improve outcomes for students but there is now overwhelming evidence that conditions for staff worsen and financial mismanagement and corruption is rife. More and more MATs are unravelling and leaving it up to Local Authorities to take back control of schools or the Regional Commisioners to find other sponsors. Schools and pupils are left in limbo and public funding is wasted on this cycle of uncertaintly and inefficiency.  It is the growing privatisation of our schools that is causing havoc and has led to a major teacher recruitment crisis as teachers leave in droves due to excessive workload and stress at work.  Please read more about the growing concern regarding the Academy Project and case studies of recent failed academy projects here.
NEU members at the John Roan have balloted over the threat of academisation and transfer of employer to the MAT. On a turnout of 64% (postal ballot) 94% of members voted yes to strike action if necessary.  We are determined to build a community campaign to stop the asset stripping of our school and defend our comprehensive, community ethos where children come first.  We urge the leadership and governors of the school to engage fully with staff, parents, the local authority and the local community in the coming weeks and show a standard of transparency in their actions following the outcome of the Ofsted Report.  We ask that the Governors convene a public meeting on the future of our community local authority school ASAP. In the interm staff have worked with parents and accepted an invitation to a parents forum meeting on the 12th June. Here all parents present were unanimously opposed to Academisation.  Strike action is always a last resort - we wish to work with management, our new Head teacher, the governing body, the Foundation and the LA to move the school forward. The NEU is meeting with David Gardner this week (b/e 11th June) who is the Cabinet member for Children's Services and Schools at Greenwich Council with this purpose in mind.

NEU concerns with the Ofsted Inspection

Complaint about the Inspection that took place at The John Roan School, Westcombe Park Road London SE3 7QR on 21 and 22 March 2018.
Lead inspector: Joan McVittie
We have received a number of complaints from staff about the Conduct of the Lead Inspector and aspects of the inspection process. I am the NEU representative and will be lodging this complaint on behalf of the members of the NEU who have contacted me during and after the inspection.
  1. Unprofessional Conduct and safeguarding concerns about the Lead Inspector in relation to interviewing Y11 Female students.
A member of staff reported his concerns during the inspection that students were being questioned inappropriately. For example, a Year 11 female student reported that in a group interview of Year 11 female students, they were asked extremely leading questions such as “Tell me about the knife crime at the school. You have a problem with Knife crime, no?” and “The school has let you down. Don’t you feel that?”. This made the student feel unsafe and upset and it was the view of student (as reported to the member of staff) that the Lead Inspector seemed to be trying to illicit negative responses from the students about their school and the staff that work there. [see Appendix 1 on email correspondence re incident with Year 11 female students and Lead Inspector.]
In Ofsted’s own advice on safeguarding it states; “avoid interrupting, asking leading questions or probing for more information than the child or young person wants to give you.” Clearly this guidance was not followed.
Unprofessional Conduct and use of leading questions in gathering information in staff interviews by the Lead inspector
So far, the following concerns have been raised:
  • At a group interview of NQTs they were asked whether they agreed that an industrial dispute in 2016 had created ‘divisions’ amongst the staff body. They felt this inappropriate as they could not have commented on the school in the past as they had only arrived in September 2017. They felt that they were being ‘led’ through the questioning to give a negative account of staff relations.
  • The nature of interviewing by the Lead Inspector at a meeting with Middle Leaders has also drawn concern from staff at the school. At this meeting staff were asked leading questions which explicitly criticised the SLT and included: “…criticisms of the SLT which consisted of wasting money on the reviews which didn't tell us anything we didn't already know and delivered by people who weren't prepared to show us how it should be done”. Staff reported that they felt they were being led to report negatively on their SLT and felt uncomfortable with the line of questioning. One member of the middle leaders felt that the Lead Inspector: “...had an agenda and was looking for evidence from us which she could use to support the opinion she had already formed which put all of us in a difficult position when we have loyalties to our colleagues and our students and have a pride in what we do.” [Appendix 2 – Conduct of Lead Inspector with Middle Leaders interview]
  • A member of staff has reported from the Inclusion department (Teacher of English / Lead in the DSP (Designated Special Provision) that she was interviewed in her role as DSP lead but could not finish the interview because she had to teach. She found out later that a Teaching Assistant was interviewed about the role and work of the DSP lead teacher when this member of staff was clearly not qualified to provide accurate information.
Issues relating to the gathering of data during the inspection process and the handling of sensitive information
Several staff have reported that they were unhappy about the conversations they had with the Lead inspector about the progress data and other information shared with the inspector on learning walks and observations. One member of staff reported that in a discussion about the progress of her Y13 Sociology class, she was told; “So only 50% are making progress”, even when the teacher corrected the inspector that it was in fact 80% that were meeting and exceeding their targets and showed her the evidence. She left the conversation not being sure what had been recorded on her record sheets.
In one instance, the inspector declined to speak to students which the teacher felt showed a lack of interest in what the students were doing. He also noted that a teacher folder that the inspector looked at was left by the inspector in the classroom and not handed back to the teacher in charge. This has sensitive information about students and should have been treated with more care. [Appendix 3 – Conduct of Inspectors during observations, Item 1]
Staff are now concerned that the validity and reliability of the judgements being made during the inspection are questionable and not based on evidence.
Issues relating to judgements of lessons and feedback to teachers who were observed
An English teacher has reported that she asked for feedback from an Inspector after an observation and refused. When she complained to a member of the SLT who had taken part in the inspection alongside the inspector, the member of SLT said that the inspector reported that she had not seen evidence of differentiation in the lesson. The member of staff has evidence that the work was differentiated for the students and therefore feels that any judgement made on the teaching and learning that took place during this observation was based on a very subjective judgement. [Appendix 3 – Conduct of Inspectors during observations Item 2]

Issues relating the composition of the Inspector Team
Some staff have raised their concerns about whether the composition of the Inspection team in terms of whether they “…have the right range of experience to fully appreciate the work that takes place at JR. [Appendix 4 – Composition of the Inspection Team]
The Nolan Principles published by the Committee of Public Standards in Public Life (1995) sets out the principles that should govern the conduct of those in public office. We have serious concerns that the Lead Inspector has not followed these principles in carrying out the work as Lead Inspector. We would like to raise serious concerns that evidence gathered during the inspection process lacked objectivity, integrity, honesty and accountability and that the judgement about The John Roan is therefore based on flawed information and conjecture.
The use of leading questions in interviews of children by schools and other organisations is not permissible and is mentioned explicitly in guidance as something that should not happen. (Ofsted Safeguarding policy).
In point 16 of the Common Inspection Framework: education, skills and early years, it says: “Inspectors must uphold the highest professional standards in their work and treat everyone they encounter during inspections fairly and with respect and sensitivity.”
We feel that this was not the case. We request that our complaints are fully investigated. Because we are currently on holiday, we will be sending more evidence when we return to work and have to opportunity to speak to the staff properly.
Kirstie Paton and Jane Simms – NEU reps at The John Roan

Greenwich MP has raised concerns...

Matthew Pennycock MP has received an answer to his Parliamentary Question on when the Ofsted Report for the John Roan will be published.  Amanda Spielman of Ofsted has confirmed that a draft of the report is currently with the School Management and that depending on the extent of the comments made by the school the report will be published in early June, after the half - term holidays.
In regards to this clarification the John Roan NEU would like to ask the Governing Body whether staff and parents will be consulted on any comments that are given back as feedback to the Ofsted Inspectors and what guarantees the Governing Body can give that all avenues of co-operating with the Local Authority will be looked at.

Mr Pennycock has written to Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education to ask him to consider giving the school time to work with the Local Authority and partner institutions in developing a school improvement plan.

Greenwich Council's Director of Children's Services has also pledged Council support against any plans to forcibly academise the John Roan.

Read more under News & Events.

Greenwich NEU response the threat of academisation at
The John Roan Secondary School

John Roan NEU Briefing to Staff and Parents

Sign and Share our Petition to oppose any plans to Academise the John Roan

Read, sign and share our petition  here

Governors Letter to Parents 4th May 2018

Questions for the Governors:

In light of this letter sent to parents and the one received by staff (see below) will the Governing Body (GB) provide answers to the following questions:
1. Regarding the School Improvement Plan - can the GB confirm when they met with the Local Authority to discuss moving forward?
2. If the Ofsted Grading is Inadequate can the GB confirm if they will still work with the LA to secure time for the school to work on improving and oppose any move to forcibly academise the JR? Especially in light of the growing success of schools across the country in fighting academisation, and the commitment of the Greenwich Director of Children's services and Mr Pennycock MP to put working with the school over an automatic acceptance of an Academy Order.
3. Can the GB confirm that they will create a space for ALL STAKEHOLDERS to come together to discuss the future of the school? This could come in the form of a public meeting open to Parents AND Staff for a date shortly after the publication of the Ofsted Report.

Governors Letter to Staff

 4. Could the GB confirm what the 'scrutiny process' of the Ofsted Report referred to in the letter to staff entails? Are parents and staff involved? Will the details of the process be made publically available after the publication of the Report? Can parents and staff request to be part of this scrutiny process?
5. In light of the concerns put forward by staff about the Ofsted inspection itself, can the GB be transparent about their decision that these concerns are not grounds to challenge the inspection process?
6. Will the GB be publishing the minutes of GB meetings on the School Website, especially all those with relevance to the Ofsted Report and the future of the school - or giving information to staff and parents on how they can access minutes of GB meetings?
7. In their letter to staff the GB give no mention of any moves to work with the LA, but rather lists exclusively information about their consultation with a MAT. Yet in their letter to parents there is still a clear message that the GB is also looking at working with the LA on school improvement.  Can the GB explain this descrepancy in the information they are giving to different stakeholders?

For some information on the current pattern of Senior management renumeration within the UST see The John Roan NEU briefing document above (page 5).
For a brief overview of the corporate structure behind the University Schools Trust (UST) see T Rawnsleys letter in Parents for John Roan.

Find out how Government cuts will affect your child's education 

All 63 of Greenwich Schools are facing cuts to funding.
For more information or questions contact : info@schoolcuts.org.uk

You can also contact a PARENT LED campaign group against this defunding of schools at:

Parents from Avenue School win in the High Court to suspend an academy order at their school

Parents and teachers at Avenue School have been battling to stop the academisation of their community primary school.

The Academy programme is a failed system. It does nothing to support our children in education. Money leaves to classroom and ended up in inflated salaries of CEOs.

We send our support to the NEU in Newham and the Avenue Parents who are showing why we have to stand up and challenge this privatisation programme.

For more information visit their facebook group Avenue Parents Group.

Public Meeting
Thursday 17th May

Come and have your voice heard regarding changes to local schools and how parents and staff are opposing plans to Academise their schools... here

Want to connect with other Parents?

John Roan parents have set up a parent led group open to the school community called John Roan Resists 
You can email them at:
​parentsforjohnroan@gmail.com and tweet at @JohnRoanResists

Staff at the John Roan campaigning for a staffroom at our lunchtime picnics. Eventually after many meetings and lunchtime picnics we finally got staffrooms at both Maze Hill and Westcombe Park. Well done folks!