Responses to all of this

blosdazWe’ve had many expressions of thanks for setting up this website and it feels great to have opened up the conversation about the future of Darell.  We’ve written to local politicians of various hues to ask what they think and will publish their responses as and when we hear from them.

This is a page for thoughts from people who care about Darell, past and present. All contributions are welcome: those excited by ECEDAT, those with questions and concerns, those who are still unsure about the whole thing etc, etc. Write to:

Comments can be published anonymously or otherwise!

Cllr Penny Frost (Opposition Spokesperson for Education and Governor of Meadlands School, Ham):

I am not particularly in favour of turning primary schools into academies.  There are other models which might be more suited to them.  They run the risk of getting swallowed up. Federation is a good model for primaries.

N., current parent at Darell:

Let’s pause the process. We need more details. So many questions and such few clarified by ECEDAT.

Cornelia Fey, parent of child at Darell 2010-2014 (year 2-4) before returning to live Germany:

[Darell was] the best of the 5 schools my children went to,
Laura Khalil [former headteacher], the office and the teachers impressed me with the respect and love they had for the children.

Brian Glover, former deputy headteacher at Darell:

I am shocked and saddened to hear what is happening at Darell where I spent 21 years as deputy head. Darell is, indeed the borough’s oldest primary school and was once referred to as “the jewel in the crown.” This was at a time when Darell’s great strengths were in the arts and in social integration. Unfortunately these things are no longer highly valued by government or Ofsted, and of course are less easily measured and placed in league tables.

Former parent, 1999 – 2005:

Our boy went to Darell from 1999 to 2005. From there he went up to Christ’s, then to Richmond College where he did the International Baccalaureate and then to Exeter University for a BSc in Zoology. So Darell wasn’t a bad start.

Under the headship of the late Brian Thompson, Darell School was a delight and how wonderful it would be to think that his ethos was still being adhered to.

This academy business does stink. The whole concept is so open to corruption and, I’m convinced, ultimately aimed at the financial enrichment and political credo of the organisers rather than the educational and cultural enrichment of pupils.

State schools must remain under local control.

Christian Wolmar, Labour Party Candidate, Richmond Park Constituency By-Election:

This worries me enormously.  It is really about privatisation.  The notion that ‘academies’ offer more variety and freedom is misplaced.  It is about the creation of large entities which are a precursor to full privatisation.  It has not worked well in Sweden and will not work well here.

Barnaby Marder, former parent:

When my son went to Darell, it was one of a number of good local authority primary schools. Now, it’s pretty much the last proper local authority primary in the area. It would be such a shame to go down the route of ending true accountability and local democracy to make it into an academy – a form of school which has no known academic benefit.

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