Greenwich firefighters remember Invicta school bombing

Invicta memorial
Firefighters and pupils at the Invicta memorial this morning (photo: Steve Hunnisett)

Last year, The Charlton Champion visited Invicta Primary School in Siebert Road to see a memorial plaque unveiled to commemorate the 15 people killed when it was bombed in 1940. This morning, firefighters returned to remember the dead. Local war historian STEVE HUNNISETT was there.

A simple and informal ceremony this morning saw the present day firefighters from Greenwich Fire Station honouring their Second World War counterparts, twelve of whom were killed at Invicta Primary School on the night of 14 November 1940 when the school was in use as Station 54X of the Auxiliary Fire Service.

Ironically, it was a quiet night in London, with the main focus of the Luftwaffe’s attacks being the city of Coventry. It was because of this lack of activity in the capital that the firemen based at Invicta Road were still at their station when the parachute mine that was to destroy the school drifted down. The explosion buried the men under tons of rubble and apart from the twelve firemen, three civilians, including the school caretaker, were killed.

This morning’s wreath laying was carried out by Richard Melrose, station manager at Greenwich Fire Station and the Watch Manager of White Watch and was the third such ceremony since the plaque was installed by the charity Firemen Remembered in March 2017.


SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Become a monthly patron at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate directly to the site at paypal.me/charltonchampion

Advertisements

Remembering those who served in World War I: The stories behind the names on Charlton’s war memorials

Charlton War Memorial

This Sunday, 11 November, marks 100 years since the end of World War I. Our thanks to local historian BARBARA HOLLAND for this piece looking back at the lives of the local men who lost their lives in the “war to end all wars”.

Many of the names of those who died in World War I are recorded on public war memorials in towns and villages across the country. Charlton is home to three of these: the War Memorial in The Village and two in Charlton Cemetery, looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The men whose names are inscribed on the memorials lost their lives in many different countries and different services.   Not all died during fighting: accidents and illness took their toll as well. Not all were young men: older men wanted to enlist as well to serve their country and use their experience and skills. Some lied about their age in order to join up. Not all the Charlton war dead were recorded on the memorial: other names have been found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database.

Behind the death of each of these men is a story of family loss. I’ve picked out just a few names to tell you a little bit more about them, their families and their service.

Charlton Village War Memorial

Money for the cross came from hundreds of small donations given in memory of the hundreds of local men who had died in the War. It has a bronze sword of sacrifice on the front face, with a bronze plaque and the names of the men inscribed on seven-stone tablets on the bases.

A new bronze tablet was placed over the original one in May 1955, to commemorate those who had died in both world wars. A new Book of Remembrance, listing the names of 314 men and one woman, was later dedicated by the Bishop of Woolwich at a service in St.Luke’s Church and is now kept on display in the church in a glass case. (Thanks here to Mike Leach who did the original research on the names in the Book of Remembrance).

Their stories

For Britain, the First World War started on 4 August 1914 and the earliest deaths on the Village memorial recorded were on 22 September. This was the date when Navy Stoker 1st Class, Thomas Arthur Jobbins, aged 28, lost his life when his ship, HMS Aboukir was sunk by a German U-boat off the Dutch coast. The same U-boat also sank HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue with a total loss of life of 1,450 men on the same day.

Thomas was the son of Albert and Margaret Jobbins of 10 Ransom Road, Charlton, and left a widow Annie Agnes Jobbins. Albert and Margaret sadly were to lose a second son, on 13 April 1917. He was John Frederick Jobbins, a private in the 6th Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment.

Wilfred Arthur Hewlett also lost his life, aged 32, on the Aboukir leaving a sister living at 9 Sandtoft Road, and Alfred Frederick Holford died, aged 35, on the Cressy leaving a widow living at 62 Inverine Road.

Thomas Henry Woodmore, Guardsman in the 1stBattalion Welsh Guards, was one of nearly 11,000 casualties on 11 November 1918, the final day of the war. Thomas was born in Charlton in 1895 to Thomas Jacob and Edith Woodmore, followed in 1899 by his brother Harold Francis. They lived at 49 Sundorne Road. Harold also enlisted, joining the 3rd Royal West Kent Regiment in 1917. He was posted on 20 November 1918, only a few days after his brother’s death. He survived the war after being discharged in 1919 with anaemia and lived until 1968.

The Charlton Memorial has the names of a number of brothers who lost their lives.

The Tumber brothers – the Tumber family, living at 686 Woolwich Road, lost three sons in the space of just five months. The first to die was John Robert Tumber, aged 22, on 9 July 1917. He was serving on the ship HMS Vanguard in Scapa Flow when it was rocked by a series of explosions. The ship sunk instantly, killing 843 out of the 845 men aboard.

Edmund David Tumber enlisted for six years with the 20th London Regiment in March 1914 at the age of 17. He was posted to France with the Royal West Kent Regiment in 1915 and wounded twice before being killed in action on 26 October 1917 aged 20.

George Edmund Tumber enlisted with 1st/19th London Regiment and died on 2 December 1917 at the age of 25, leaving a widow, Charlotte.

The Friday brothers – Herbert John Friday and William George Friday were the sons of William and Mary Friday who lived at 9 Hopedale Road. They enlisted together in the 20th London Regiment and were both killed in action on the same day – 20 October 1915. Herbert was 23 and William 25. Less than 2 months after their deaths a third brother, Ernest Percival, enlisted. He survived the war.

The George brothers – John Edward George (not on the memorial) and Thomas Hamlet George enlisted in the 6th Battalion The Buffs (East Kent) on the same day – 3 September 1914 – and died on the same day – 13 October 1915. John was 39 and Thomas 35. A third brother, Charles Arthur, also enlisted but survived the war. Their parents, Josiah and Angelina lived at 17 North Street. Thomas left a widow, Louisa, who lived at 38 Derrick Gardens.

Another 10 pairs of brothers also lost their lives – Atwell, Brooks, Daly, Hankins, Hussey, Kerswell, Lind, Lomas, Shorter, and Sturgis.

Thomas Edwin Brooker was one of 8 men named on the Village War Memorial who died when they were 50 or more years old. He was born in 1865 and had served in the Army prior to the War from 1887 to 1903, and re-enlisted on 13 August 1914. Although by then he was 48 years old, he declared his age as 40 years and 242 days. He served in France until 1 April 1915 when he developed rheumatic fever and returned to England to be treated in hospital. He was declared fit again on 2 July 1915, but died at Aldershot only a few weeks later on 11 August of a cerebral haemorrhage. He left a widow, Elizabeth, living at 58 Eversley Road.

Many of the men named on the Memorial were only teenagers when they died: two were only boys of 17:

Reginald Edgar S Pinson was the son of William and Mary Pinson who lived at 7 Charlton Church Lane. He enlisted with 6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment and was shipped with the British Expeditionary Force to France on 1 June 1915. It was just over two months later when he was killed in action on 14 August 1915.

Harold William Allan was the son of William and Charlotte Allan living at 112 Charlton Lane. He was born in 1897, but had enlisted in the Royal West Kent Regiment on 16 July 1912 at the age of just 15, having declared his age to be 18 years and 3 months.   His battalion, the 1st, shipped to France on 15 August 1914. He was killed in action on 28 October 1914.

The last name I’ve picked out is A. Zeitz on the Royal Naval tablet on the Memorial. It is out of order so was added on at some point after the other names:

His full name is Arthur Alfred Alexander Zeitz, born in Berlin in January 1876 to Theodore and Helena Zeitz. He married his wife Christina Hanny in 1905 and they had one daughter Helena Margaret (Nellie) in 1908. By 1914, the family were living at 36 Atlas Gardens in Anchor and Hope Lane.

Arthur joined the Navy in 1897, where his place of birth is recorded as Marylebone and his occupation a carpenter. He served until 1906 when he bought himself out and joined the Royal Fleet Reserve. He then re-enrolled in July 1911 for 5 years, but served until demobbed on 14 February 1919. He died in August of that year and was buried on 20 August in Charlton Cemetery. His burial record shows his occupation as ‘crane erector’.

As to why his name is out of order, I don’t have an answer. His death may have been too late to be carved in alphabetical order, although the Memorial wasn’t unveiled until October 1920. Was there a question of whether his death wasn’t as a result of his war service?

Maybe, if he was German-born, anti-German feeling prevented his name being added?

Charlton Cemetery memorials

Charlton Cemetery has 59 graves containing burials from World War I which are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

A War Cross commemorates these men, and there is also a special memorial located near the entrance which bears the name of 2 soldiers and 2 sailors whose graves are not marked by headstones.

The four men whose names are inscribed here died in this country, in very different circumstances.

Arthur Victor Lomas died on 28 March 1916 aged only 18. He was an Ordinary Seaman serving on the ship HMS Conquest. He was on the ship’s boat returning from shore leave near Harwich when it was lost in a snow storm. The boat foundered and all 39 men on board drowned. He lived at 16 Lydenburg Street with his parents, Joseph and Louisa Lomas, the second of their sons to die in the war. Arthur’s brother, Albert Henry Lomas had died a year earlier on 13 March 1915 while serving with the 2nd Devonshire Regiment in France. (Both names are on the Village Memorial).

Arthur William Powell served as a Rifleman with the 16th Battalion London (Queen’s Westminster Rifles) Regiment. He died on 10 December 1914 aged 40 after being run over by a lorry on Woolwich Road. He was married to Fanny Powell living at 66 Westcombe Hill, Blackheath, and had 2 daughters, Audrey born in 1902 and Edith born in 1908.

Maurice Smith, a Canadian by birth, landed in France on 19 May 1915 and died on 24 February 1916 age 51. He died in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital of wounds received while fighting in Hooge with the 7th Battalion Rifle Brigade. He left a widow, Fanny, and lived at 23 Wyndcliff Road. (Also on the Village Memorial).

Robert Ernest Stead died on 13 March 1916 aged 32. He was a deckhand on HMS Victory and died of illness while at Royal Navy Barracks at Portsmouth. His sister, Mrs E Cockshott, lived at 14 Tuskar Street, Greenwich.


SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Become a monthly patron at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate directly to the site at paypal.me/charltonchampion

Remembrance events in and around Charlton and the Greenwich Roll of Honour

Charlton War Memorial
The war memorial in Charlton Village

As Remembrance Sunday approaches we thought it might be useful to compile a list of local events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Here’s what we’ve found so far:

Saturday 10th November

Wreath laying ceremonies at:

10.45am: Maze Hill War Memorial, Greenwich Park, Charlton Way, Junction with Maze Hill SE3
11.20am: St John’s Church, Stratheden Road, SE3
11.40am: St Luke’s Church, The Village, SE7
12 noon: Charlton Cemetery, Cemetery Lane, SE7

Find more wreath laying ceremonies around the borough on Greenwich Council’s website.

Sunday 11th November

Remembrance services at St Luke’s and St Thomas’ churches, both at 10am on 11th November, with observance of the 2 minute silence. Everyone is welcome

The United Reformed Church on Bramshot Avenue has a remembrance service starting at 10.50am. All welcome.

 

Do you know of any other remembrance events in or around Charlton? Drop us a line and we’ll add them to this page.


The Greenwich Roll of Honour
greenwich roll of honourRob Powell, friend of the Charlton Champion and occasional contributor  has  a new book available:

The names of Charlton’s war dead feature in a new publication released to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice. The Greenwich Roll of Honour: 1914-1918 reproduces the names of the fallen compiled by the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich at the end of the First World War. The old borough included Greenwich, Charlton, Kidbrooke, and parts of Deptford and Blackheath.

The 48 page booklet lists over 1800 names, accompanied by new photography of local memorials and a foreword by the Revd Canon Chris Moody from St Alfege Church in Greenwich. It’s available to buy now locally for £5 at the Old Cottage Coffee Shop in Charlton Park or online.

What’s happening at Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust? An update from Cllr Gary Parker

Charlton House SE7
Charlton House is managed by Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust. Photo by Neil Clasper.

An update on activities at Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust from board member and Charlton councillor Gary Parker:

I would like to update you on the work of the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust (RGHT) which has been busy managing and developing their significant portfolio of Royal Borough of Greenwich heritage assets.

Much has taken place at the Trust over the last few month, and residents will be aware that Greenwich Heritage Centre i Woolwich closed its doors on 21 July to make way for Phase I of the Creative District development.

A new facility is in development with the Royal Borough of Greenwich with public access to a new Research Room. The Greenwich Archive Users Forum has been established and RGHT are working with the Forum to ensure access to the borough’s archive collections continues and can be enjoyed by many more residents in our community in the future. The Museum & Archive team are now based at Charlton House.

Pauline Watson, the archivist, has continued to deal with enquiries from the public by email and telephone since the closure of the Heritage Centre, and is looking forward to working with researchers in person again as soon as the new facility is up and running. At the moment she is carrying out some incredibly useful research into past repairs and maintenance of Charlton House since the 1920s, the Trust will be sharing some of its findings on its blog in the coming weeks. 

Layers of London

RGHT is providing the ‘Hub’ at Charlton House for a new project, Layers of London. Launched at an event last week, the project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in partnership with London Metropolitan Archive and University of London, aims to work with the community to record layers of ‘London’s rich past’. The first meeting at Charlton House saw a wide attendance, not only from the Charlton and wider Greenwich communities but from interested people across the south east. Some very interesting projects were shared at the meeting and anyone can take part by adding their story to the site. RGHT looks forward to seeing the content grow over the next two years as the project develops. 

Making Woolwich

The Making Woolwich exhibition, from the Heritage Centre is the focus of the teams work now as they manage the redesign and relocation of the display to Woolwich Town Hall. This exhibition opened in December 2016 to celebrate the 300-year history of the Royal Artillery. Elements of this story will transfer to the Town Hall in November where new audiences can find out about the important story of the Royal Artillery in Woolwich and the men and women who have served in the Borough over the last 300 years. The rest of the Museum & Archive collections will not be mothballed during this period of closure. The Trust team will take this opportunity to develop a programme of exhibitions and events that will see the collections travel out into the community. 

WWI Centenary

Charlton Village War Memorial
The war memorial in Charlton. The borough’s war memorials are maintained by Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust. Photo by Neil Clasper.

As the centenary of the end of the First World War approaches RGHT has 4 Tommies’ from the There but not There project. If community groups are interested in loaning a Tommy for an event they can contact Edward@rght.org.uk for details. You can find out more about the First World War Victoria Cross recipients of the borough on the RGHT blog where each week the story of one of the four local heroes will be revisited. 

The new RGHT What’s On leaflet is now available. You can pick up a copy at Charlton House. You can also collect a copy of the Woolwich History Walk leaflet, designed and printed with a generous grant from the Ministry of Defence Community Covenant Fund. If you can’t drop into Charlton House, you can download the leaflet here www.greenwichheritage.org/visit/woolwich-history-walks. Alternatively, if you would like to take part in the walk or would like copies of either the adult or family version for your group please contact office@rght.org.uk and copies can be sent to you for display. 

I will publish a further report early in 2019.

Best Wishes, Cllr Gary Parker

The Charlton Champion is keen to know: do you use or visit Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust facilities? What do you think of their current plans? What could they be doing, and what are they are getting right (or wrong)? Let us know in the comments below (but keep it constructive, please!)


Support The Charlton Champion

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Become a monthly patron at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Buy Neil a coffee at ko-fi.com
– Donate directly to the site at paypal.me/charltonchampion

Can you help St. Thomas’ night shelter to help the homeless?

St Thomas Church Charlton-1
St Thomas’ Church on Woodlands Terrace, SE7.

We’ve written before about St. Thomas’ Church night shelter for homeless people, but with winter approaching and homelessness rising, we thought we’d catch up with what’s happening this year, and how local residents can help:

Every winter, thousands of people in the UK end up with no home. It’s a national problem and sometimes it feels like there is nothing we can do. But there is. Greenwich Winter Night Shelter is a team of people from local churches and communities who provide beds, food and company for people without a home. From 14 November 2018 to 12 March 2019, volunteers will give a few hours each week, helping dozens of people get back on their feet.

Would you like to join a team that makes a big difference to people’s lives?

Volunteers are needed for evening, overnight and breakfast shifts – particularly overnight and breakfast shifts. The Shelter operates at a different venue each night of the week, and full training is provided.

For more information, please contact project manager Helen Othen – email: gwnsprojectmgr[at]gmail.com.

The Greenwich Winter Night Shelter network:

Sunday: St James’ Church Hall, Kidbrooke Park Road, SE3 0DU – Nearby buses: 178, 286, 132, 89
Monday: Christ Church, Trafalgar Road, SE10 9EQ – Nearby buses: 177, 180, 286, 422,
129, 188, 386

Tuesday: St George’s Church, Glenluce Road, SE3 7SQ – Nearby buses: 286, 108, 422
Wednesday: OneSpace Youth & Community Centre, Kidbrooke Park Road, SE3 9YY – Nearby buses: B16, 178
Thursday: St Mark’s Church Centre, 22 Greenwich South Street, SE10 8TY – Nearby buses: 386, 180, 199
Friday: St Thomas’ Church, Woodland Terrace, SE7 8EW – Nearby bus: 380
Saturday: Blackheath & Charlton Baptist Church, Marlborough Lane, SE7 7DF – Nearby buses: 89, 178, 386

Make a donation

If you’d like to donate food, clothing or money to the night shelter you can contact the project coordinator above or additionally for St. Thomas’ Church, contact Revd Bennett Spong or Churchwarden Jim Kinsella.


Support The Charlton Champion

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Buy Neil a coffee at ko-fi.com
– NEW! Become a monthly patron at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– NEW! Donate directly to the site at paypal.me/charltonchampion

Have your say: TfL confirms 53 bus cutback – and it’ll be less frequent, too

Route 53 bus in Whitehall
Route 53 at Whitehall: It won’t go here again if TfL has its way

Transport for London has confirmed its plans to cut the 53 bus back to County Hall – and will make it less frequent too under new plans out for consultation today.

Plans to withdraw the 53, a lifeline for thousands of local workers, between County Hall and Whitehall were leaked last month. Now TfL is asking passengers what they think of the plans.

One aspect not previously highlighted in the leaked plans is that TfL plans to cut the 53 back to every eight minutes. TfL says it currently runs every seven-and-a-half minutes, but the full timetable shows it runs as frequently as every five minutes around 6am, when the service is heavily used.

The cut to the 53 – which runs from Plumstead via Woolwich, Charlton, Blackheath, Deptford, New Cross and the Old Kent Road to Whitehall – is part of 33 changes to routes in central London.

TfL, which is chaired by mayor Sadiq Khan, says: “The last time there was such a comprehensive review of the central London bus network was before the Congestion Charge was introduced. As a result there are some extremely complicated and inefficient sections of the road network. Some roads in central London, such as Kingsway in Holborn, are now served by more than 100 buses an hour, many of which are significantly underused. This oversupply of buses can cause congestion, slowing down journey times and worsening reliability, air quality and road safety.

“If no action is taken, GLA figures show that by 2041, three days would be lost per person every year due to congestion on London’s roads, and 50,000 hours would be lost to slower bus speeds in the morning peak every day.

“Passengers can now use the Mayor’s Hopper Fare to change buses unlimited times within an hour for just £1.50.”

A 7am journey on the 53 from Charlton Park School is timetabled to take one hour to reach Elephant & Castle, at 8am the journey takes 66 minutes.

The consultation can be filled in at: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/16b1c48f/

‘Our plans will help reduce pollution’

Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL, said: “Buses have a crucial role to play in boosting the number of people using public transport, but they can’t do this without reflecting how London has changed. It is only right that we reassess the network after the significant changes in both London’s infrastructure and how Londoners choose to travel. Londoners expect their buses to be where they are needed and run in an efficient and cost-effective manner and that’s what this review is about.

“Our proposals to reorganise the bus network would modernise bus travel in London by matching capacity with demand, reducing bus-on-bus congestion while enabling year-on-year increases in bus services in outer London. In adapting underused and inefficient services in central London, our plans will help reduce pollution that has such a damaging effect on the health on Londoners.

“Ultimately these changes, which are predominately minor route restructures or timetable adjustments, would create an efficient modern network with buses in the right places at the right times.”

Greenwich & Woolwich MP Matt Pennycook has already labelled the cut as an attack on “working class constituents”.

He said: “As things stand in rush hour most 53 buses are frequently overcrowded by the time they get up the hill to Charlton.

“We need more frequent services on this route, not cuts to services.

“But my main concern is the impact on the large numbers of my constituents who get up at the crack of dawn to make the long journey into central London on the 53 to work low-paid jobs (if you think I’m exaggerating just catch one before 6.30am one morning and see for yourself).

“For them, the long journey on the 53 all the way to Whitehall is the only means of transport that is affordable into central London and it is therefore indispensable.

“As such, difficult to escape the conclusion that cuts to this service will punish my working-class constituents and at the very moment that a new Crossrail station is opened in Woolwich that will inevitably pile pressure onto our already over-stretched local transport network.

“So let me be as clear as I can possibly be: I will do absolutely everything in my power to fight cuts to the 53 bus service.”

The consultation into the 53 bus cut ends on 9 November.

The Charlton Champion needs your support to provide news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Become a monthly patron at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate directly to the site at paypal.me/charltonchampion
– Buy Darryl a coffee at ko-fi.com

Campaign launched to stop Sherington Primary School becoming an academy

Sherington Primary School
Campaigners say Sherington will suffer if it becomes an academy

Updated story: A row has broken out about the future of Sherington Primary School after a teaching union revealed it was in talks about possibly becoming an academy.

The school is currently under Greenwich Council control, but the National Education Union – the successor to the old National Union of Teachers – says it is due to start talks with the Leigh and Compass academy trusts.

In a letter issued to parents on Tuesday, the school has confirmed it is considering its future arrangements because “we can’t sit back and let the future take care of itself”.

One angry parent, Vicky Makepeace, has organised a meeting for fellow parents at Charlton House this Thursday (27th) at 10am.

She says: “My older two boys did really well at Sherington and enjoyed their time there. I want my youngest two children to have that experience.

“Turning the school into an academy will take away parents’ rights, kids’ rights and teachers’ rights. The school is not underachieving, academies don’t care about children with special needs, these kids will get pushed out by the academy or they will not support them. Sherington has caring teachers, support team and parents.”

‘No turning back’

Greenwich Council’s deputy leader David Gardner – who is also cabinet member for education – urged Sherington to stay with the council. He said the borough’s primary schools have “an excellent record” and Sherington had “thrived as an outstanding school rooted in the local community”.

He warned: “Academisation is not only a trip into the unknown, it is a one-way street with no turning back. If the academy chain fails, it just gets eaten up by another unaccountable chain. If the local council falls short in its support, we can be held to account; and as a community school it is run by its head and governors, not a remote chief executive.”

Leigh runs a number of schools and colleges in south-east London and north-west Kent, including Crown Woods Academy in Eltham, Halley Academy in Kidbrooke (the old Corelli College/Kidbrooke School) and the Leigh Academy Blackheath, which is due to take over the old Blackheath Bluecoat site. Compass runs schools in Greenwich borough including Halstow in east Greenwich, South Rise and Willow Dene in Plumstead and Wingfield in Kidbrooke.

The union says there are no plans to consult staff, and a decision could be made as soon as November.

‘Outstanding primary school’

Asked for comment on the story, Sherington head Karen Dennett sent The Charlton Champion a letter which has been issued to parents, inviting them to a presentation from an “independent education advisor” on 17 October.

It reads: “Sherington is an outstanding primary school. Our children make excellent academic progress, as shown by our results, and our broad curriculum fosters creativity and confidence.

“We’re determined to maintain our high standards, so we can’t sit back and let the future take care of itself. The Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team are obliged to keep their eyes on the horizon and set a strategic direction in the best interests of the school.

“With this in mind, the Governing Body and Senior Leadership team have been reviewing some alternative models for the way the school could in future be structured and funded.”

It adds that it hopes to make a decision by Christmas.

Academisation – where schools receive their funding directly from central government rather than a local council – has shot up the local political agenda in recent months after John Roan School in Blackheath was ordered to become an academy after being judged to be “inadequate” by inspectors from Ofsted. Campaigners are currently fighting the order, which would see it link up with the Mile End-based University Schools Trust chain, which runs the Greenwich Trust School on Woolwich Road.

(Story updated at 4pm on Tuesday to include Sherington’s confirmation and its letter to parents.)

The Charlton Champion needs your support to provide news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Become a monthly patron at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate directly to the site at paypal.me/charltonchampion
– Buy Darryl a coffee at ko-fi.com