Politicians in Greenwich have said they are "disappointed" after the government ordered The John Roan School in Maze Hill to become an academy.

Cllr Danny Thorpe, leader of Greenwich Council, said the authority had received a letter from the Regional Schools Commissioner this morning (Wednesday) to impose academy status on the school under academy chain the Universities' Schools Trust.

If the school becomes an academy, it will no longer be governed by the council. Instead, it will be given money directly by the Department for Education and will govern itself.

Cllr Thorpe said he was "deeply disappointed" by the decision, and described the order as a "rush ahead".

He added that, after being elected leader, he had arranged a meeting for June 27 with the commissioner to discuss how the council could work with The John Roan School, in anticipation of a poor Ofsted report.

The result of an Ofsted inspection of the school in March was released on June 4, which found a high turnover of headteachers had affected pupils for the worse, with GCSE results plummeting and an increase in temporary staff.

After the report was released, headteacher Cath Smith apologised to the parents in an open letter, saying she was "disappointed" with the result.

Cllr Thorpe, a teacher himself, said the council is "determined to do all that we can to keep the The John Roan School in the Greenwich family of schools."

David Gardner, cabinet member for children and schools, said the school has made "significant progress" since the Ofsted inspection and should remain under control of the council to continue improving.

In a series of tweets this morning, Greenwich MP Matthew Pennycook said the council must "do everything possible" to make sure The John Roan stays part of the "local family of schools".

However, he added the immediate focus now should be the improvement of the school and the safeguarding of its pupils' education.

News Shopper has contacted The John Roan School for comment.