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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The eponymous craft beer is not always brewed in the capital (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If there’s two things London foodies are obsessed with, it’s craft beer and local products, so it’s a surprise to learn that a drink that is named after London and boasts of being “the quintessential English lager” is sometimes brewed in Europe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
How should the next generation of Boris bikes look? (Photo by Steve Bardens/ Getty Images for Santander)

Santander Boris bikes as we know them could be a thing of the past after TfL issued a tender for their redesign.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
New Fathers 4 Justice campaigners altered this local council anti- domestic violence poster in Greenwich Station (Picture: New Fathers 4 Justice)

An anti-domestic violence poster has angered fathers campaign groups and today two activists were ‘removed’ by police from a south-east London train station for defacing the council missive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Paddy Power reckon it's a dead cert for Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn (Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)

Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership race is a “done deal” according to one bookmaker which has already started paying out on bets.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Computer class

New figures show, in the face of growing youth unemployment, vacancies for digital jobs is set to widen in the next year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Lord Sewel resigns from the House of Lords (Picture: PA Images)

Lord Sewel has quit the House of Lords after video footage emerged of him allegedly taking cocaine with two prostitutes in his London flat, even snorting a line off one woman’s breasts.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more