Outsourced schools: the Essex mums fighting back

When Waltham Holy Cross primary school was given a failing report it was immediately under threat of a private takeover in the government’s academisation drive. But parents have fought back – and may yet prevail. The Guardian’s Aditya Chakrabortty explains how.

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Plus: Mark Rice-Oxley on why we should embrace the four-day working week

Shaunagh Roberts and Jayshree Tailor never considered themselves campaigners. But when the education watchdog, Ofsted, said their children’s school was failing and would be taken over by an academy trust they had never heard of, they started asking questions. Now the campaign to keep Waltham Holy Cross school under local authority control is growing and parents are hopeful they can halt the forced outsourcing of the school to a private contractor. 

Aditya Chakrabortty has been following the campaign for months and tells Anushka Asthana he is astounded by the resourcefulness of the campaigners, working from from their kitchens with little more than cracked phones and broken laptops. 

Also today, in opinion: don’t like Mondays? Mark Rice-Oxley makes the case for the four-day working week.

 Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA
 Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

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