Breaking news: Downhills primary school to become an academy

18:38 20 June 2012

Downhills Primary School will become an academy this September. Pic: Tony Gay.

Downhills Primary School will become an academy this September. Pic: Tony Gay.

Archant

Downhills Primary School will be forced to become an academy - despite just three per cent of parents being in favour of the move in a consultation.

The Department for Education today confirmed the Tottenham school will reopen in September as an academy under the Harris Federation - which runs a string of schools in south London and, from the next academic year, Coleraine Park in Glendish Road, Tottenham.

This is in spite of a fierce battle from the Save Downhills group, who are desperate to keep the school under local authority control, and a consultation which revealed 94 per cent - or 219 of the 234 respondants - were against becoming an academy.

A second survey of 100 parents, carried out by Populus at the gates of the Philip Lane primary school, found 80 per cent wanted the school to remain under the Haringey’s control.

Just 25 per cent, when given an option of sponsors if the school had to become an academy, selected Harris.

Yet Education Secretary Michael Gove stood by his plans to hand the school over to Harris, citing the latest Ofsted report and a report of the Interim Executive Board (IEB).

The IEB, including two Harris Federation staff members and four others, was parachuted in after Mr Gove sacked the governing body earlier this year.

A DfE spokesman said: “The IEB’s report states that radical structural solutions are needed to deliver and sustain rapid improvement at the school and it is confident that the Harris Federation will be able to deliver such solutions.

“The Secretary of State has therefore decided that to deliver the improvement needed, the school should be converted to a sponsored academy under the leadership of the Harris Federation. The new academy will open in September.

“Harris, a not-for profit educational charity, will give the school the leadership and expertise it needs to improve. Harris has turned around a number of previously failing schools in London, nine of which have now been judged as outstanding.”

Haringey NUT secretary Julie Davies has reacted angrily to the news - which came just one day after pupils, teachers and parents protested outside the DfE headquarters in central London.

She said: “The Secretary of State is clearly abusing his power. He is using the school for political purposes. This just proves that Mr Gove is both and ideologue and an enemy of promise - the promise shown by Haringey and its track record in running 62 primary school, not one.”

But Harris Federation chief executive and IEB member Dr Dan Moynihan was “delighted”. He said: “We have agreed to be sponsor because we firmly believe we have the track record and experience to transform the quality of education on offer at the school and to support the staff and pupils.

“Our first priority, in every school we operate, is to make sure that children receive their right to an excellent education. In sponsoring Downhills as an academy, we will be building on everything that is already good about the school in order to accelerate its path out of Special Measures and into Good and then Outstanding Ofsted status.”

The Save Downhills campaign group have yet to comment on the news.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The stars of Derek say the Channel 4 show polarises opinion.

Read more

Kirsten Dunst and Chloe Sevigny have no doubts about reuniting with filmmaker Lars von Trier.

Read more

A legal representative for Sony has said The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, will be released.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

From the Earth’s elliptical orbit to the scheduling of Christmas, the winter solstice is as scientifically complex as it is culturally significant.

The introduction of the Genomic Medicine Centres is seen a a genetic revolution in the NHS, but why?

Ahhh… When did the 1990s become the “good old days”?

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

TOP Stories

11:08
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was cautioned after a 'disturbance' at Heathrow Airport (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was arrested by armed officers at Heathrow after allegedly being barred from entering a first-class lounge.

The man's hilarious new hobby is correcting people's bridge fallacies one Instagram caption at a time (Picture: Charles Lawley/Instagram)

One hilarious pedant is correcting Instagram users who mistakenly label Tower Bridge as London Bridge - and it’s so gloriously British in its passive-aggressiveness.

A man performed an indecent act at South Woodford Tube station (Picture: Google Streetview/British Transport Police)

An appeal has been launched after a man performed an indecent act in front of a woman on a Central Line Tube train when he got on at South Woodford station.

London Bloggers

13 minutes ago
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.