Residents Consulted on the Future of Bentworth School

Governors propose to turn local primary to an ARK academy

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Governors at Bentworth Primary School are consulting parents and local people about their proposals to transform the Shepherd's Bush school into an academy.

As well as a public meeting held at the school this week, and information meetings with parents held on Friday mornings at 9am, locals residents can take part in the consultation either online or by completing survey forms by the closing date of February 20.

If it becomes an an academy, Bentworth will be operated by ARK Schools, an education charity which also operates Burlington Danes Academy and the new free school in White City, the ARK Conway Primary Academy.

Bentworth Primary, in Bentworth Road, W12, currently does not have a permanent headteacher. The previous head, Tony Proud resigned last year and Laura Dickson then became interim head in October before leaving in December. Since then the school has been run by another temporary headteacher Karen Bastick-Styles.

Some teachers are unhappy about the proposals and have been giving out leaflets to parents explaining their reasons. They say: " It will have huge implications for the school staff and the future education of your child. It also separates teachers from many of the rights and conditions of employment they currently hold and in the end this not good for them."

However, Chair of Governors Eugenie White says: " We have been considering various options to raise the levels of academic achievement at the school and to establish a leadership and financial structure that is effective in the long term.

" We think this is best done through being part of an academy group and we have chosen ARK Schools because of its substantial and successful local presence."

Academy status gives schoolsl freedom to manage themselves outside local authority control and greater curriculum freedom. Under the proposals for Bentworth all staff would transfer automatically under their current terms of employment.

ARK Schools were double prizewinners in the 2011 EducationInvestor Awards, with ARK winning school operating group of the year and Burlington Danes being awarded academy of the year. Shepherd's Bush also has the new Hammersmith Academy, which is not run by ARK.

Residents are being invited to take part in the consultation either through survey forms being sent to local homes or  online or by emailing

After all the replies have been received, the governors will meet to consider responses and make a decision on February 22.


February 9, 2012

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