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George Tomlinson School – setting the record straight

The newly-appointed Governing Body at George Tomlinson Primary School, in Leytonstone, is moving closer to recruiting a new headteacher.

The school, in Harrington Road, has been the subject of false rumours recently, with untrue claims circulating of a plan to turn it into an academy under supervision from the Lime Trust.

However, Waltham Forest Council wants to reassure parents that the governors have no plans for the school to become an academy. Governors have shortlisted a good field of applicants for the headteacher post, many of whom have already visited the school.

Councillor Grace Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The appointment of a new Governing Body and the search for a new headteacher marks a new phase in the life of George Tomlinson Primary School.

“We fully support the school in this process and again want to reaffirm that we are not in the business of turning schools into academies.”

The Council has moved to reassure local families ahead of a protest and the handing in of a petition by a group of parents next week. The petition asks for the school to be maintained by the local authority, calls for no involvement from Lime Trust in the school, and requests the appointment of a headteacher with no links to any academy or academy trust.

Cllr Williams continued: “I hope parents are left in no doubt the steps they are calling for are already being carried out by the new Governing Body.

“From our point of view, as we would with all of the borough’s schools, we will continue to support the school in its governance and help it to deliver the best possible outcomes for our children and young people. We thank parents and carers for the active and valuable role they play in school life at George Tomlinson.”

Debbie Strowbridge, Chair of the school’s Governing Body, said: “All of the Governors are fully committed to George Tomlinson as a local community school and there is no plan to convert to an academy.

“We will work hard to help provide the very best learning facilities and environment for staff and pupils. Our shared ambition is for George Tomlinson Primary to be a highly successful school in Waltham Forest and with the support of parents, working alongside the staff and children, we will strive to realise that aim.

“As Governors we recognise and value the fact that parents and carers are passionate in their support of the school and are committed to its future. We also recognise there have been issues that have given rise to community concern in the recent past. Looking forward, the new Governing Body will listen and communicate consistently and effectively with all of you as parents and carers.”

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