The emotional toll on children following a free school’s closure is being ignored, according to a parent, with one girl seeing “no point in carrying on”. 

International Academy of Greenwich in Lee was forced to announce its closure last month after the council refused planning permission for its redevelopment in July.

IAG planned to build a 765-pupil school on Bowring Sports Ground but was unanimously blocked by Greenwich councillors over its proposed use of Metropolitan Open Land, which is protected from development unless there are special circumstances.    

A need for school places would have qualified but council planners said the school “failed to provide a convincing case” that it existed. 

Parents were devasted by the news and said they were ill-informed about the school’s dismal prospects.  

But the central issue, parents say, is the toll the closure is taking on children at IAG, many of whom are very anxious about their futures.  

One parent, who wished not to be named, said her daughter is so upset that she “didn’t see the point in carrying on with life”.  

She said: “My daughter is in year 9 and has already chosen her GCSEs. 

“She is deeply affected and worried that whatever school she gets into won’t have her selection of subjects available by the time she manages to transition. 

“She has a lot of anxiety about walking into a new school with no friends. She doesn’t know whether she’ll have to do a lot of catching up if her subjects aren’t available.  

“She’s dyslexic and suffers from a lot of anxiety – there has been no transition support in place to manage that.”

The worried mum, who monitiors images and videos her children share, said: “She posted a video of herself saying she felt there was no point in carrying on with her life, that her chances have been trashed, and that she was going to lose all her friends. 

“The process has been horrible – children aren’t coming into school because stress is making them physically sick. No child of that age should suffer from that level of stress. 

“The children are being signalled that they just aren’t worth the extra effort.” 

It has also emerged that the head teacher of the school handed in her notice and is leaving next week.  

The mum said: “The school is falling into chaos, there will be no teachers left.” 

Added to this, pupils at the school face a delayed in-year transfer process and will not be allocated space until next February. 

She said: “My son is in year 7 and said the school is falling apart around his ears.

“Classes are being disrupted as they think ‘we are just those kids in that failing school’ and my son is just ashamed to be there. 

“They want to move as soon as possible.” 

She added: “Parents want help to prioritise our children – make spaces available in the good schools they deserve. 

“Communication and support must be better – being told there are only two people on the admissions team so the phone is on voicemail is just not good enough.” 

A spokesperson for IAG said he understood parents’ concerns as the situation was a “confusing mess”. 

He said: “It’s the same as the in-year admissions process, it’s just that there’s more time built into it. 

“The in-year admission process is fine for an individual but it’s more difficult when a whole school is closing. 

“If you’re a school with spaces you don’t want two or three children coming in every week, it’s disruptive for them and for the children already in the school.  

“Also it should be a fair process, some parents will be more engaged than others and we want all children to be treated the same.” 

All pupils have to name their school preference by December and they will be allocated a place by February “or sooner” and it will be “done on a ranking basis”.  

After that, pupils will be allowed to move before the end of the school year.  

The spokesperson added: “Parents are understandably concerned because there has been a lot of miscommunication and misunderstandings.” 

A Greenwich Council spokesperson said: “Following the DfE’s decision to close International Academy of Greenwich, we are managing a bespoke admissions process, in collaboration with Lewisham, that enables parents to apply for up to six schools and given them a deadline of December 13 to do this.  

“This ensures as fair a process as possible for all parents and is the optimum arrangement under the School Admissions Code, given the large number of children to be placed.  

“We are providing as much support as possible to parents at this difficult time.”