Parents, children and teachers lobbied Islington council’s schools organisation committee on Thursday of last week. They are attempting to dissuade it from agreeing to close St Mary Magdalene primary school and reopen it as a city academy with 1,400 pupils aged between three and 19.
The proposed Church of England academy is one of two planned for Islington by the Liberal Democrat controlled council in north London.
The other is to be built on the current sites of Islington Green and Moreland schools and sponsored by an outfit called ARK, a “charitable” trust set up by a multinational group of investment bankers and hedge fund speculators.
An article in the next day’s Islington Gazette predicted, “Plans to close a primary school to make way for a new city academy were expected to be given the go ahead last night.” But the expectation turned out to be wrong.
Following the protest and overwhelming opposition from those allowed to address the committee, one of its five composite groups (the schools group) voted against the academy plan.
Because the decision needed to be unanimous for it to pass, the proposal to close St Mary Magdalene School will have to go before an adjudicator.
The resulting delay is first blood for the No Academies in Islington Campaign.
Future plans include a demonstration outside the ARK headquarters in central London and a remake of the famous Pink Floyd song with a new chorus — “Hey bankers! Leave our kids alone.”