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30 October 2018

Dear Mr Skinner,

We are writing to you to explain why we as parents will continue to oppose the academisation of
our school and why we believe that University Schools Trust (UST) should withdraw
sponsorship. We are extremely disappointed that you have written to parents and misinformed
us about the UST (letter dated 19 Oct 2018). Our research does not support your assertions
(see attached). It concerns us that you seem to be advocating the UST with no independent

We ask that you look carefully at our research and re-consider your support for the UST. It is
our view that we must remain a Local Authority (LA) school accountable to the local community.
The LA has shown its capacity to work with the Headteacher, staff and parents and has already
made a substantial commitment to the school through resourcing the Associate Headteacher,
permanent Teaching Assistants and has provided support through the Borough’s School
Improvement team.

We request that you contact Ofsted and ask that they visit the school to see the improvements
we have already witnessed. The academy order was issued on the basis of an inspection in
March 2018, that many know was not a true reflection of our school. We now have evidence
that there was a conflict of interests and that the Chair of Governors Christine Whatford worked
for the UST, knew the Lead Inspector Dame Joan McVittie and that this compromised the
inspection findings. We all agree that the school has already seen improvements - we should be
allowed to continue to work together without the disruption that academisation would bring.

We request that you write to the Regional Schools Commissioner, Dominic Herrington,
explaining that the UST is not financially viable and ask that the RSC revoke the order as has
been done in 16 other schools. This is within the remit of the DfE and we believe it is in the
interests of our children and the future of the John Roan so that we can remain an inclusive,
caring comprehensive school, accountable as a public service to our community.

It has to come to or knowledge that there are allegations that Graham Price was effectively
dismissed from Willmington Enterprise College in 2008 due to financial improprieties. We
request an immediate investigation by the Governing Body into very serious allegation. We have
raised this with the Local Authority.

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Graham Price, Christine Whatford and Dr Richard Marshall – their role in the
academisation of our community schools

Willmington Enterprise College was a ‘good’ school when Grahame Price became Head in
2006. He took a sabbatical in 2008 and left the school in December 2008. In March of 2009, the
school was inspected and put into special measures. The school closed and reopened as part
of the Leighs Academy Trust MAT in September 2010 and turned into Willmington Academy.

Grahame Price became Head of St Paul's Way Community school in 2008/9 when Christine
Whatford was Chair of Governors. When it was inspected in 2009 it was judged as
‘inadequate’. It became a Foundation Trust school in 2010 and the land and assets were
transferred to the Trust. Staff were informed that they had to reapply for their jobs when their
contracts were transferred, and the following year 38 staff left the school. In August 2016 it was
converted into and Academy as part of the University Schools Trust (UST) in August 2016.

The UST was established in August 2016 through the amalgamation of St Paul's Way Trust
School (SPWT) and The Royal Greenwich Trust school (RGTS) which was opened after the
closure of Greenwich University Technical College (UTC) due to a fall in pupil roll. In 2016, Dr
Richard Marshall who was Principal of Greenwich UTC from 2013 to when it closed in August
2016, was appointed CEO of the UST and the following year Grahame Price was appointed
CEO. Officers for both the UTC and UST have included Gillian Palmer (previous Head of
Children’s’ Services in Greenwich) and Christine Whatford (previous Chair of Governors of
The John Roan who resigned in April 2018).

Dr Richard Marshall was appointed as interim Head of Copeland School after it failed its
inspection in March 2013. Christine Whatford, Grahame Price and Dr Richard Marshall all
served on the Interim Executive Board (IEB) that made the decision to hand over this Local
Authority community school to the MAT Ark. In September 2014 the school was closed and
reopened as the Ark Elvin Academy.

Christine Whatford was appointed as chair of Governors of The John Roan School in August
2016. As a consultant of the UST she appointed the UST to work in the school to offer ‘support’
in September 2017. The UST’s support package included an Executive Head, Cath Smith and
Dr Richard Marshall. In March 2018, John Roan were judged as inadequate. In April 2018, The
John Roan Foundation invited Graham Price to speak to Trustees about joining the UST MAT.
In June 2018, the school was issued an academy order and the UST were named as the

The track record of these Headteachers is patchy to say the least. The UST ‘support’ last
year did not improve the school. The evidence suggests that the ‘expertise’ these
individuals have is in turning Local Authority schools into academies.
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John Roan: preserving our community school

If The John Roan is forced to join the UST Multi Academy Trust, it will cease to exist as a
legal entity. All the school’s assets will be owned and controlled by the UST. In the Trustees
strategic report and Audited financial statements Aug 2017, the Trustees have “…an
overarching responsibility and governance and have the power to make changes…. Governors
are responsible for implementing those policies”. The John Roan GB will have no power to
direct the school and can only play an advisory role. We lose governance of our school if we
convert to a MAT.

Is the UST financially viable?

The UST Financial Audit Aug 2017 reports a small surplus (unrestricted funds) of £500,000.
This is an extremely small surplus for a MAT. In the current funding climate, we cannot see how
this MAT will survive. Local Authorities have the power to support school deficits and to draw on
funds from Schools Forum and other grants. The UST will ‘top slice’ our funds to run their
company which means less funds for The John Roan. We are deeply concerned for our staff
that the UST also reports pension liabilities of £1.3 million. We are also concerned that the UST
have not submitted their accounts for 2017/18. How can due diligence have been done?

CEO and Heads’ salaries in the UST are more than LA salaries for Headteachers. The Highest
salary for LA Heads for a large Inner London school is approximately £116,000. Yet the current
CEO Graham Price takes a salary of £145,000. The Senior Leadership expenditure in the UST
went from £280,000 to £1,470,000 in one year!

We are alarmed that The John Roan assets and the access that the UST would get to the
Foundation Trust would be used to shore up the funds and assets of a financially
precarious business. We are also very concerned that public money is not being directed
into the classroom to support our children, but into the salaries of management and the
asset stripping of our school.

A Freedom of Information Request (FOI) of St Paul's Way Trust School (SPWT) revealed the
· Staff turnover is very high at SPWT (21-23% over the last two years). In our school that
would be the equivalent of 40 staff leaving year on year. How can the UST explain why so
many staff are leaving?
· The agency staff bill was £800,000 last year. This means a very high proportion of staff
are on agency contracts. We are concerned that this will have a negative impact on children
who need support, especially our SEND students.

Multi Academies are renowned for making promises and then breaking them. Once we
have lost our school there is very little accountability and scrutiny. Our school can be re-
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brokered and we have no say. That is why we can’t stand by and not speak out. We must
fight to save our school.

List of Signatures
Adam Huggett, Kyla Huggett, Jenny Huggett parent, Tina Aust, Mark Aust, Josh Wade, Amy
Wade, Charlie Aust, Andrew Sen Parent, Abigail Wilman parent, Alastair Stewart parent, Huong
Nguyen, Hannah Bray parent, Helen Paton g/parent, Tam Paton g/parent, Elliot Carter, Alice
Carter, Kirstie Tebbit Parent, Louis Tebbit, Kirstie Paton Parent, Warren Carter Parent, Callum
Carter, Philippa Tshuku Parent, Anneli Harrison Parent, Ian Branagan Parent, Miles Harvey
Parent,Gem Harvey, Stephanie Wilson Parent, Jason Holdway Parent, Lizzie Gould Parent,
Blair Gould Parent, Izzy Tshuku Parent, Oliver Tshuku, Zac Tshuku, Vicky Makepeace Parent,
Patrick Arthur Parent, Daren Black Parent, Georgia Wilson-Black, Mandy Warwick Parent,
Thaddeus Insoll Parent, Omer Aksoy Parent, Deniz Aksoy, Tamara Markovic-Aksoy Parent,
Bina Brown Parent, Leslie Brown Parent, Rob Bray Parent, Leanne Cooper Parent, Anneke
Eggers Parent, Mary Linda Vilfenia Parent, Katey Hearn Parent, Daisy Wilson-Black, Cath
Makepeace, Fred Makepeace, Cheryl Pollitt Parent, Claire Eustance Parent, Mary Long Parent,
John Cole Parent, Neal Smith Parent, Vicky Ribbands Parent, Catrina Creech, Brisa Danieli,
Hui Hai, Clive Johnson Parent, Carleena Phillips, Shiquille Phillips, Sharlani Phillips, Shaneil
Phillips, Callum Makepeace, Barry Makepeace, Chris Makepeace, Shannon Olliver, Sara
Maddrick Parent, Jon Maddrick Parent, Cindyann Wright Parent Kim Rix Angelo Arthur Helen
Gregory Parent David Gregory Parent, Baxter Gregory, Bailey Gregory, Rachel Gregory, Sue
Kell Parent, Paul Kell, Jason Prizeman, Danny Prizeman. Sophie Prizeman. Scarlet Prizeman.
Skye Prizeman. Lisa Prizeman, Elaine Dyer, Sylvia Fludder, Edward Fludder, Dorreen
Ribbands, Andrew Ribbands, Matthew Ribbands, Philip Ribbands, Elizabeth Ribbands, Thomas
Smart, Vicky Carroll, Wayne Garryway Parent, Michelle Toffree Parent, Maggie Buckley Carer
g/parent, Kes Grant Carer g/parent, Les Harrison, Caroline Harrison, Ken Harrison g/parent,
Eileen Harrison g/parent, Karen Hanson, Mario Arthur, Antonio Arthur, Catherine Taylor Parent,
Terrianne Macauliffe Parent, Kim Marie Bozek Parent, Cath Barton, Haley Porter Parent,Cheryl
Pollitt Parent, Alfie Spencer, Harry Spencer, Archie Spencer, Mignon Buckingham Parent,
Andre De Boisson Parent, Gemma James Parent, Colin Walker Parent, Janet Lowther Parent,
Poppy Lowther, Danny George Parent, Nicola James, Karen George, Meri Kidby Parent, Colin
Charles Parent, Amy Edwards Parent, Emma Fair Parent, Tiegan Hawkins, Lily Hawkins,
Rezhen Saeed Parent, Arei Khadir Parent, Paul Kidby Parent, Linda Kidby Parent, Leon Kidby,
Luka Kidby, Sonya Meadows, Leslie Meadows Parent, Katie Veness, Miriam Price, Andy Price
Parent, Irina Larema Parent, Lurii Grabovetchi, Alexandru Grabovetchi, Fiona Whyte
Grandparent/Carer, Laura Kastner Parent, Bernie Kastner Parent, Rose Fisher Parent, Rian
Davie, Farren Davie, Kier Davie, Tori Davie, Kayden Davie, Jamie Eastwood, Bradley Selves,
Jen Part, Joanna Lewis, Raquel Lewis, Shane jnr Selves, Clayton Selves, Oscar Selves, Aiden
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Selves, Maria Westron, Noah Westron, Linda Knight, Jemma Selves, Shane Selves, Nick
Selves, Darren Selves, Jeema Selves/in law, Brandon Baker, Kaci Selves, Riley Selves, Clark
Selves, Emma Tomsett, Ruby Selves, Tilly Selves, Louise Selves, Lee Selves, Dominie
Wimbury, Amanda Fisher, Sam Taylor, Tom Taylor, Susie Mahoney, Jane O’Donnell g/parent,
Valerie Frazer, Laura Moore, Kyla Moore, Ben Ryan, Jackie Wise, Billie Rutherford, Amy
Rutherford, Jade Rutherford, Rosie Rutherford, Kyle Noble Leanne Keena Scott Kirk Steven
Hoadley Nicola Hoadley Callum Hoadley Melanie Knight Angela Knight Parent Dave Knight
Parent Bill Gardener Parent Cheryl Gardener Parent Jenny Bridges Scott Baker Nikki Baker
Paul Beale Sean Knight Colin Gray Colleen Gray James Frazer Jimmy Frazer Mollie Glasson
Lisa Elliott Casey Elliott Phoebe Elliott Caitlin Elliott Jack Osborne Harry Gray Brenda Colverson
parent Megan Colverson Joe Colverson Luc Colverson Joan Gray Kimberly Davie Rian Gray
Julie Selves Parent Lesley selves Roy Selves Ritchie Selves Sean Constance Vienna
Constance Mick Elliot parent Iris Taylor g/parent Mark Elliott Scott Bromham Molly Keeley Grant
Owens Rachael Owens Jamie Rowells Kimberly Arnold Zoe Burton Brandon Burton Ami
Swanson Kai Selves Lee Bishop Katie Read Ben Tip Keeley Massheder Mike Massheder Paris
Loft Amy Loft Rubie Loft Katie Kirk Kurt Goodwin Julie Goodwin Elsie Selves Phoebe Arnold
Sam Gould Margaret Whey g/Parent, David Whey, Joey Arthur, Jake Arthur Caroline Joseph,
Rachel Pearson Parent, Lauren Clarke, Josh Donnelley, Justine Donnelley, Diane Fitzpatrick
Parent, Greg Blake-Clarke, Lisa Makepeace, Gemma Tappenden Parent, Noemi Varalli parent,
Michael Robert Parent, Gemma Tapperdon, Parent Michael Robert Parent, Avisa Khadir
Parent, Daroon Khadir Parent, Daisy Wilson-Black, Danny Prizeman, Sophie Prizeman Scarlet
Prizeman, Skye Prizeman, Darren Spencer Parent, Nola Barker Parent, James Barker Parent,
Elisabeth Morgan, Parent P Peto prospective Y6 parent, Darren Yeo y6 Parent, Linda Hartley
y6 Parent Simon Gunton, Ruth Ohlsen, M Webster Verity Lancaster, Emily Gunton Suzanne
England, Tom Moore, Nicola Woodly, Steve Oakes President Greenwich GMB, Tim Woodcock
Div Sec Greenwich NEU Donna Spicer Asst Branch secretary GMB, Edna Anderson Tim
Anderson, Jess Glenny, Neil Townsend Rowan Glenny, Chelsey Jessica Wright, former student
and prospective parent, John Grimshaw, Eleanor Davies, James Kerr, Cleo Lewis Joint
Equalities Officer Lewisham NEU, Liam Conway President Notts, NEU, Sam List, Duncan
Morrison Ass Divisional Secretary Lewisham NEU,

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