The boss of an academy chain tipped to controversially take over a 300-year-old school in Greenwich says he is now “determined” to take it on.

It comes following an anti-academy silent protest outside the John Roan on May 14 that finished with a lobby at the Department of Education.

John Roan Resists has been campaigning against the “forced” academisation following a poor Ofsted report in June last year.

United Learning has been rumoured to take the school on following the withdrawal of the University Schools Trust in December.

Jon Coles, the Chief Exec of UL, says campaigners protesting outside its London offices have made him “determined” to take over The John Roan.

He tweeted on Tuesday: “Fifteen adults (including anti-academy campaigners from Barking) and six children on a bus, claiming to represent John Roan strikers and parents just stopped and shouted abuse outside our London office and were rude to our reception staff over the intercom.

“They claimed to have a letter to deliver but didn’t post one. As an example of a shambolic and back-firing campaign, this takes the biscuit. I’m now determined to bring the school into the group to sort out the damage these people have caused to children.”


The John Roan academisation: Teachers and parents protest academy order

John Roan Resists says no member was abusive during the demonstration.

When asked about the chief executive’s tweets, a spokesman for the trust told the LDR service: “Children at the school will now have endured a 13th day of strike action. Fortunately for them, the small group of protesters seemed to contain very few who actually currently work at the school.

“Whilst no one has been announced as sponsor for the school, the number of current parents and staff who have contacted us asking for John Roan to join our group far outweighs the number who were protesting.”

The 300-year-old school was told it was to be academised following a damning Ofsted report in June 2018– part of new Government policy that instructs failing schools to be taken over.

Academies are publicly funded schools that are not under a council’s control, and have more power over pay and curriculum. They are funded by the government, not the local authority.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition against the John Roan being academised.

Colin Fancy, a member of John Roan Resists and a parent of a year 11 student, said today: “As parents we are indeed extremely angry that our school has been put through this continuing disruption by a Government attempting to remove schools from democratic local authority control.

“If Jon Coles felt the protest was not very big yesterday he can be reassured that we will return and will do so in greater numbers.”

No academy sponsor has yet been announced for the school.