Just a few hours ago, a group of Sedgehill students posted an online petition on: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-of-lewisham-save-sedgehill-school
As I write, it has already received approaching 600 signatories underneath its clear demands to the Mayor of Lewisham:
Sedgehill School is a well-loved community school in Lewisham. Recent plans by Lewisham Local Authority to dismiss the Head and Governors and to academise Sedgehill threaten students' education, staff wellbeing and its close-knit community.
We reject the unfair suggestion that Sedgehill is a failing school. We say:
- No to the academisation of Sedgehill School
- No to the loss of staff
- No to the removal of the school's Governing body
Instead of trying to besmirch the good reputation of Sedgehill School in its local community, the Local Authority could do well to heed the comments written this evening by those signing the petition.
Here are just a few of them:
“It's wrong, undemocratic, unnecessary and unwanted. Sedgehill is a thriving community school because of the care and commitment of the head teacher and his incredible teaching and support staff”
“The unfair takeover of the school is unjustified and puts students at risk of being treated as statistics rather than young learners”.
“My daughter fell in love with this school and the people in it before she could even come here. Now she is a pupil she is thriving and loves the sense of ambition, warmth and aspiration it has”
“My children go the school. It was their choice to go to this school. We did not choose an academy. We have been extremely happy with the quality of teaching and care given. An academy was not what I wanted for my children”
“This is an extremely well-run school with enthusiastic staff. Failing school? Not on your life”.
“I and my husband are both ex students of Sedgehill and we have both done well. Sedgehill has helped us grown into the successful people we are today and gave us real life skills as Sedgehill holds such a diverse and wonderful community. The staff were supportive and encouraging and picked out skills individuals excelled in. By that I mean not only did the 'academic' student get support but so did those who were good at practical things”.
“I'm happy my school is not an academy and I would be more happy if it didn't turn into an academy. I love my head teacher Mr. Mckenzie and the school is perfect, some students are already deciding to move school because of this stupid chaos also my parents are not happy with the idea of Sedgehill becoming an academy”
“My child left primary school with no banding and now is in year 10 and is heading towards A in her GCSE. This school and the teachers have made remarkable progress with my daughter. She loves going to school and loves all her teachers. Without them she would never be able to achieve the high grades that she is going to achieve. I am a very proud mum. I want to continue to be”.
“My daughter is studying for her GCSEs. She has worked so hard for the best level of results. The hearing unit has provided an interpreter for me and her teachers to communicate and understand to help her needs. I OBJECT to Lewisham Council changing this school into academy. I vow that I will not vote for Labour next year”
“As an ex Sedgehill teacher I can say that you will never get more hardworking or dedicated teachers as the ones working at Sedgehill. Academies often raise standards by changing the demographic of the students. If you change the demographic of school, who would take the children Sedgehill have removed to improve their exam grades? The staff don't want to teach different children, so why force the change?”
“Teachers have done an amazing job over the years and students love that school, turning into an academy will lose great teachers and pupils alike, big mistake !!!”
“Marketisation of education is wrong. I worked as a teacher at Sedgehill for 12 years. Sedgehill is a diverse and caring school that serves the needs of the community. The wealth of opportunities that Sedgehill provides students is truly inspiring”.
“I'm signing because I believe that Sedgehill should stay as it is, a change would only cause major disruption towards the children's education and the exams taking place later next year”
“If it wasn't for Sedgehill I don't know where I'd be today. I was very rebellious in school but the teachers there gave me the help and support I needed to finish school with GCSE's. I now work in a nursery and I plan to do youth work with children that are as vulnerable as I was”
“Sedgehill is my old school and should resume as a community school like it always has done. It has changed some many children's lives and is not a business!!!!!”
“Sedgehill is a good school and it is being academised purely for political gain”.
"Sedgehill is a local school, popular with children and parents. My daughter will be transferring to secondary in the near future and it is a school we are considering applying for. I wholeheartedly disagree with the academy system. It is unnecessary, against the ethos of the education system and is being proved to be a failure as an initiative. It will have nothing but a negative impact on Sedgehill, just like all the other schools I know that have been turned into academies".
"My 3 kids are thriving at the school in a very short time.
A hostile academy takeover will not serve my kids education!!"
"This decision seems to make no sense. LBL either come clean about your motives or back down".
"I went to Sedgehill and was surrounded by teachers and staff who supported my learning but also my personal growth!
A similar petition has also been launched by students at Prendergast School. It can be found on https://www.change.org/p/the-school-governors-save-prendergast-from-becoming-an-academy