Parents have defended a Wembley school after years of criticism by campaigners.

Ark Academy, in Forty Avenue, has attracted protests from teachers who oppose academies on principle and residents who say it will create traffic chaos.

Henry Wilson, of Harrowdene Road, said finding a good school for his four-year-old son Yannis Wilson-Thompson was “priority number one”.

He said: “What I like about it is he's getting homework and of course I don't want him to be inundated at this age but at the same time he needs to keep up, with the school's help and with my and his mother's help.”

Teaching started for two reception classes at a temporary block, in Wembley Park Sports Ground, in September but plans to open a full school with primary, secondary and sixth form classes are still in the pipeline.

Residents' groups and protesters say the school is needed in the south rather than the north of the borough.

Hank Roberts, of Wembley Park Action Group, says he will ballot members for strike action if he cannot stop planning permission being given.

Mala Jethwa, of Kingsmere Park, Wembley, who chose the school for her four-year-old daughter Jenna, said Mr Roberts' plan was “appalling”.

She said: “It's disgraceful. There's a shortage at all schools in this area and I don't know what the issue is.”

Brent Council has questioned whether strike action over plan the would be legal.

Jacqueline Steele, the headteacher, said: “There's a need here and the fact is all schools here are oversubscribed.”

She added: “I don't believe that politics should be involved in education. It's a state-funded school, it's not private. We're here to help the children grow and work with the community.”