Socialist Worker

Academies: Education secretary dismisses school’s improvement

Issue No. 2290

Downhills Primary School in Haringey, north London, is “failing”, according to Ofsted, the hated schools inspectorate.

This is despite significant improvements at the school.

Education secretary Michael Gove wants to impose academy status on Downhills and three other schools in the borough.

Downhills has been at the centre of a mass campaign against academies. More than 1,000 marched last month.

Gove says Downhills fails to meet targets which demand at least 60 percent of pupils should reach the government’s required standards in English and Maths.

Downhills reached this target in 2011, when 61 percent of children reached level 4 English and Maths.

This compares to 40 percent in 2009 and 53 percent in 2008 (teachers boycotted tests in 2010).

Leslie Church, head teacher at Downhills, resigned on Friday of last week after Ofsted’s verdict became public. The inspectorate’s full report has yet to be published.

Ofsted last inspected the school in September 2011. It found that the school was “making satisfactory progress in addressing the issues for improvement and in raising the pupils’ achievement”.

It noted that many children arrive with lower “knowledge and skills” than would be expected for their age. Downhills results were relatively low, it said, but “there is a clear trend of improvement”.

Earlier this week governors at another of the schools Gove is targeting, Noel Park Primary, voluntarily agreed to convert in order that they could choose their own sponsor.

Some teachers are arguing for a strike ballot across all four schools against the plans.

The Tories are reeling over their scheme to sell off the NHS. Activists should seize the opportunity to build an even bigger campaign against their plans to privatise schools in Haringey.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 14 Feb 2012, 17:36 GMT
Issue No. 2290
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.