Haringey Borough Council's independent report on its schools released

An independent report into schooling in Haringey says there is too much variation in the quality of education across the borough.

The report, entitled Outstanding for All, was released today by the independent Haringey Education Commission, chaired by Dame Anna Hassan.

The commission was given the task to provide recommendations for the future for education in Haringey to accelerate the improvement of schools.

In its report the commission said: “Overall, there is too much variation in the quality of education across the Borough, an erosion of confidence in the authority and a lack of co-ordination in services for schools."

It also said communication between the council and schools, the council and governing bodies and between primary and secondary schools was seen to be a major problem.

The commission made a number of recommendations, among them the goal that all Haringey schools should be judged by Ofsted as ‘good’ or better within three years.

The report also said the council should set each school individual targets, setting out what they need to achieve in order to meet the borough’s overall goal.

In a meeting this morning in front of headteachers, governors and parents, council leader Cllr Claire Kober pledged all schools in the borough would be rated good or outstanding within three years.

She said: "We want all our schools to be good or outstanding and together we are all clearly making progress on this.

She added: "Our next step will be to appoint an external education champion by April, who will work with us to deliver the commission’s recommendations.

She also announced there would be regular public meetings with parents, as well as the publishing of detailed information about the performance of each school and the council.

She added: “These important steps will form part of the overall delivery plan for how we address the recommendations made the by commission and ensure continued improvement.

“We’ll be accountable to schools, transparent with parents, target driven and we’ll use data better to strategically support schools.”

The commission, which was set up by Councillor Kober, met between April 2012 and January 2013 and gathered its evidence from Ofsted and with interest in schools in Haringey including parents governors and pupils.

Comments (2)

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6:34pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Cwcomm says...

A welcome report which also pointed out a lot of achievement in Haringey and narrowing the gap between local and national attainment, while setting out a clear way forward - and setting a challenge to everyone involved, not just the council but also heads, teachers, teaching unions, governors, to deliver the high quality education all our young people need and deserve.
I'm encouraged the council commissioned this report and is now committed to act on its findings
A welcome report which also pointed out a lot of achievement in Haringey and narrowing the gap between local and national attainment, while setting out a clear way forward - and setting a challenge to everyone involved, not just the council but also heads, teachers, teaching unions, governors, to deliver the high quality education all our young people need and deserve. I'm encouraged the council commissioned this report and is now committed to act on its findings Cwcomm

2:39pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Alan Stanton says...

Just to clarify, this report was *not* commissioned by Haringey Council but was purely a decision taken last year on her own authority by Cllr Claire Kober the Council "Leader".

She set the terms of reference of the Commission and chose who she invited onto it.

As far as I can discover, Cllr Kober didn't even consult Cllr Lorna Reith the "Cabinet" member for Children's Services at the time. Cllr Kober was solely responsible for committing the funds spent (£16,813.93. Which incidentally, does not appear to include an estimate for Council staff time involved.)

I made a Freedom of Information Act request - link here: http://bit.ly/UJi521

I queried whether Cllr Kober has the power - without reference to her "cabinet" or the Council - to make such a decision - including spending public money, committing staff time etc. I was told there was no legal requirement for Cllr Kober to get "Cabinet" or Council agreement for her decision.

Even so, Cllr Kober could have done so. But she didn't bother Nor was her unilateral action discussed by or agreed by the majority Labour Group of councillors.

In my personal view it is contemptible for Cllr Kober to ignore and sweep aside any democratic process and accountability.

Her contempt for democracy continued after Cllr Kober received the Commission's report. It seems that only Labour councillors were sent copies - and not until the day before. I also checked with a few LibDem councillors and by 2.30 pm on 14 February - after the Commission Report was launched - it seems that most LibDems had not had the courtesy of getting a copy. (With the exception of councillors who were chairs of school governing bodies).

As well as Cllr Kober scorning the rights of the opposition (perhaps including two independent councillors), it appears that she ignored the usual rules of proportionality, of equalities, and safeguards about Council finance. All by-passed by one unaccountable person pretending to speak for the whole Council.

Cllr Kober explicitly claimed to speak on everyone's behalf at the launch of the Commission Report. The notes for her speech contain the pronoun "I" some 38 times. It is the speech of someone full of her own power and puffed-up self-importance.

In Haringey there was a rejection of an elected mayor. Yet we seem to have stumbled into an undemocratic "fake mayor" who believes it is okay for her to act without any checks and balances.

I wonder what Cllr Kober would have said if we had a LibDem Council Leader behaving in this arrogant and high-handed way.

Alan Stanton
Tottenham Hale ward councillor since 1998. Labour Party member forty years. Former Tottenham Labour Party constituency secretary and ward branch secretary. Tottenham Hale resident 30 years+
Just to clarify, this report was *not* commissioned by Haringey Council but was purely a decision taken last year on her own authority by Cllr Claire Kober the Council "Leader". She set the terms of reference of the Commission and chose who she invited onto it. As far as I can discover, Cllr Kober didn't even consult Cllr Lorna Reith the "Cabinet" member for Children's Services at the time. Cllr Kober was solely responsible for committing the funds spent (£16,813.93. Which incidentally, does not appear to include an estimate for Council staff time involved.) I made a Freedom of Information Act request - link here: http://bit.ly/UJi521 I queried whether Cllr Kober has the power - without reference to her "cabinet" or the Council - to make such a decision - including spending public money, committing staff time etc. I was told there was no legal requirement for Cllr Kober to get "Cabinet" or Council agreement for her decision. Even so, Cllr Kober could have done so. But she didn't bother Nor was her unilateral action discussed by or agreed by the majority Labour Group of councillors. In my personal view it is contemptible for Cllr Kober to ignore and sweep aside any democratic process and accountability. Her contempt for democracy continued after Cllr Kober received the Commission's report. It seems that only Labour councillors were sent copies - and not until the day before. I also checked with a few LibDem councillors and by 2.30 pm on 14 February - after the Commission Report was launched - it seems that most LibDems had not had the courtesy of getting a copy. (With the exception of councillors who were chairs of school governing bodies). As well as Cllr Kober scorning the rights of the opposition (perhaps including two independent councillors), it appears that she ignored the usual rules of proportionality, of equalities, and safeguards about Council finance. All by-passed by one unaccountable person pretending to speak for the whole Council. Cllr Kober explicitly claimed to speak on everyone's behalf at the launch of the Commission Report. The notes for her speech contain the pronoun "I" some 38 times. It is the speech of someone full of her own power and puffed-up self-importance. In Haringey there was a rejection of an elected mayor. Yet we seem to have stumbled into an undemocratic "fake mayor" who believes it is okay for her to act without any checks and balances. I wonder what Cllr Kober would have said if we had a LibDem Council Leader behaving in this arrogant and high-handed way. Alan Stanton Tottenham Hale ward councillor since 1998. Labour Party member forty years. Former Tottenham Labour Party constituency secretary and ward branch secretary. Tottenham Hale resident 30 years+ Alan Stanton

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