Hundreds of people have signed a petition against an Enfield primary school’s bid to join an academy chain.

Walker Primary School, in Waterfall Road, Southgate, is planning to join the Ivy Learning Trust – a multi-academy trust that includes schools in north London and Hertfordshire.

If the move goes ahead, the school will no longer be under the control of the local education authority, Enfield Council.

The petition – which has now gained more than 570 signatures – claims it would be better for the school to partner with other schools in the borough and remain under local authority control.

It comes at a time of increasing concern over academisation, with other schools in the borough – including Galliard School in Edmonton – also poised to join academy chains.

Academies are government-funded schools that are independent of local authority control and can also raise funds through sponsorship deals with businesses and other organisations.

But opponents of academisation claim it removes democratic oversight of education and does not lead to better outcomes for children.

Increasing numbers of schools are joining academies due to growing budget deficits following real-terms cuts to government education spending.

The petition website states: “The school finances at present are in good shape and forecasts are not as bad as were presented. The school can survive without becoming an academy.

“The academy has the right to place teachers where they see fit, meaning there is a strong possibility of your child losing their excellent teacher to another school and being replaced possibly by a more inexperienced or unqualified teacher. Your kid’s education depends on good teaching.

“Ivy Learning Trust accounts show in just one year agency staff costs (ie supply teachers) were £86,149 and approximately £430,000 was paid to five senior management. (CEO highest paid £130,000)

“Academisation has a negative effect on education and removes democratic accountability.”

The chairman of governors and headteacher of Walker Primary School have issued a statement claiming the petition “contains certain opinions that are factually incorrect and misleading information”.

They add: “It may have been signed by many who were not involved in the consultation period.

“Before voting to join the Ivy Learning Trust, the governors held an extensive consultation with all stakeholders, following the due diligence process set out by the Department of Education and the National Governance Association.

“The governing board held three parent information sessions, has responded to all questions from parents and staff and published all responses on our school website.

“Parents were able to share views via a dedicated email address. We received only a small number of written responses. All responses (for and against) were revisited prior to the final governing board vote.”

Their statement also lists several benefits of joining the academy chain, including the protection of front-line teaching jobs and the use of additional facilities for children.

It adds: “The Ivy Learning Trust is led by trustees and management who have a proven track record in delivering excellence in education in Enfield.”

The petition can be accessed here.