Parents from a school being forced into academisation following a “flawed” inspection brought their campaign to Greenwich Town Hall on Wednesday to appeal for emergency measures.

The John Roan School, which has had multiple head teachers over a short period of time, was slapped with a dreadful Ofsted report and a controversial order to become an academy.

Parents, teachers and councillors have blasted the academisation of the school, with protests being held and preparations for a legal battle underway to fight the “flawed” report.

A crowdfunding effort has been launched to raise money to take on Ofsted, which inspected the school after the University Schools Trust were brought in as consultants, but did not help turn the school around before the report.

The UST has been named the preferred sponsor for the academy by the regional school’s commissioner.

Parents appealed to the council for help, and delivered a deputation to the council chamber saying the school had potential.

Parent Colin Fancy said: “We do not recognise the picture painted by Ofsted. Whole department’s works are ignored and left out of the report – not even criticised.

“The sixth form comes out badly, but there is a banner outside the school with big letters saying best A-Levels ever. Is that a failing school?  How much more can it be wrong about yet, the regional schools commissioner feels justified issuing a forced academy order.

“We know that £1 and £1.5M has gone to Corelli academy, and we note that between £13 and £15M went to the Royal Greenwich Trust school. Those both are academies. We are not questioning the wisdom of the payments, but they show to us that the council can fund local schools in need. We expect nothing less for John Roan.

“We call for an emergency strategic plan fully funded to address these needs. We expect that to include the local authority ensuring the school will receive support from other community secondary schools. Set out a plan of action working towards a genuine Ofsted which would maintain us as a local authority school.”

John Roan dominated discussions at the council meeting last Wednesday (June 27), with education councillor David Gardner answering several questions on the council’s plans.

He said: “Nobody here supports forced academisation. It has been shown to be a expensive policy. There has to be an academy order when a school is inadequate. The government has a whole army of civil servants to enforce that – if only that money was spent on education.

“The school has a very strong history and clear ethos of looking at the whole child. Sadly though, there are challenges even putting aside the Ofsted. It is the case that the school had one of the lowest levels of progress of any school in London.

“Cath Smith, the new head, supported by the council, has made a big difference. The priority must be to rally behind her and the agreed improvement plan. We as a council have put in significant support and will continue to do so – including financing support for the associate head which starts in September.”

The council, which has disagreed with the order, legally has to facilitate the academisation.