Holland Park School is a coeducational comprehensive secondary school located in Holland Park, London. It has a strong local identity and is very popular in its area.   

On 31 May, a group of parents of the school and the National Education Union representing members of the NEU at the school, filed for High Court judicial review. This concerns the school's decision to end its existing single academy status and pass the school over to the United Learning Trust as one of the schools in ULT's multi-academy trust.   

This decision was made by the Governors of the school on 1 March entirely without any consultation with parents or staff.  It is extremely unpopular with parents and staff. Industrial action by members of the NEU is continuing.   

With this filing, the NEU joins as second claimant on a judicial review claim that parents at the school have long planned.   

The judicial review claim asserts that there was an unlawful failure by the Governors to consult on their decision.  This failure was not remedied by what amounted to an inadequate and cosmetic 'stakeholder engagement process' carried out by the Governors, which gave no sufficient information to parents or staff of the school.   

The parents and NEU seek a court order that would halt, as unlawful, the Governors' present intention, as of 1 September, to end the school's present single status academy arrangement and transfer the school to the ULT.   There should be a full and genuine consultation exercise including parents, staff and all members of the school community on whether the school should end its present single academy status and, if so, which multi-academy trust the school should join.   

Elizabeth McKay, a member of the parents group calling for a judicial review, said:

"It is hugely disappointing that the governing body, having promised to do so, have failed to meaningfully consult with parents and teachers.  We have tried to meet the chair on multiple occasions to discuss our concerns but to no avail.  We have been left with no alternative but to pursue a judicial review as a last resort."   

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

"It is regrettable that the dispute over Holland Park's future has reached such an impasse. With this judicial review, to which the NEU is joining as second claimant, we will seek to bring sense to the situation and secure a proper, meaningful consultation. It is not too late for the governing body to withdraw its plans and work to heal the rifts they have created through their hasty actions." 

ENDS    

2022-122-NEU