Canon Colin Boswell used Croydon’s annual civic service yesterday to call on the people of the borough ”to encourage heroic teachers”.
The Vicar of Croydon’s remarks came in a sermon to the congregation in Croydon Minster and to the many civic dignitaries in attendance.
Earlier in the week, Ofsted inspectors had carried out a further “raid” on the Parish Church junior school, where the vicar is the chair of the governing body.
The very early return of Ofsted to inspect the Church of England school, just a month after the publication of critical findings about the school’s performance, is judged by local Labour politicians as being part of the Michael Gove-instigated national campaign by the government department to use inspections to force as many schools as possible to become privatised academies.
Oval Primary, Roke School and Archbishop Lanfranc are among the local schools to have undergone forcible academisation in recent years, often against the wishes of the staff and parents. The handover at these schools has often been rushed and badly managed.
“To inspect within just a few weeks of the publication of the critical report has given insufficient time for the school’s new senior management to make an impact on performance,” said a Town Hall source attending yesterday’s service. “It is clearly calculated. It is a shame to see Ofsted debased for party political purposes.”
Inside Croydon has been informed that Department of Education officials are expected in Croydon this week to push the Diocese of Southwark to agree to turn the school into an academy, something which the prelates have resisted so far.
This attempt to push academisation under a private sector provider comes only two weeks after the Church of England was seen to criticise the way the school, and its staff, had been handled by the Department for Education.
The civic service had been, until 2012, an annual event to celebrate life in the borough, but that year, “NightMayor” Eddy Arram caused its cancellation because he claimed to be too busy. The service resumed last year and this year was properly attended by Mayor Manju Shahul-Hameed, who gave a reading from the New Testament.
Other notable local dignitaries at the service included Stuart Collins (the deputy leader of the council), Tim Pollard (leader of the opposition) and the council’s deputy chief executive Hannah Miller. Tony Newman, the council leader, was not present.
The sole representative from Parliament was Lord Bowness, the long-serving former Conservative leader of the council.
- Roke Primary victim of “overzealous” Gove, says Tory MP
- Oval Primary parents offered “bribe” to stay at academy school
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: Grand Central, Oct 14
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- David Lean Cinema: Finding Vivian Maier, Oct 16
- 21st annual Croydon and Sutton Beer Festival, Oct 16-18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Oct 18
- Purley War Memorial Hospital health fair, Oct 18
- St John’s, Shirley, charity concert, Oct 19
- David Lean Cinema: Mood Indigo, Oct 23
- This Was The World and I Was King, Spread Eagle, Oct 23-25
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, 2.30pm, Oct 25
- David Lean Cinema: Ilo Ilo, Oct 28
- CODA’s Wind In The Willows, Charles Cryer, Carshalton, Oct 29-Nov 1
- David Lean Cinema: Belle, Oct 30
- NHS free health fair, Central Parade, New Addington, Oct 31
- St Giles School opening morning, Nov 5
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- Coulsdon Yulefest, Dec 6-7
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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