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Noel Park Primary School agrees to Education Secretary Michael Gove's academy plan
A primary school has reluctantly agreed to become an academy and has found a sponsor after the Government warned governors would be removed if it resisted.
Staff at Noel Park Primary School, in Gladstone Avenue, wrote to parents on Wednesday to inform them that becoming an academy was “the best option for the school in difficult circumstances”.
The school will work with the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), which runs Nightingale Academy in Edmonton, after the Department for Education (DfE) warned that it would remove the board of governors and impose its own board if staff resisted the change.
Chair of governors Fr Simon Clark and headteacher Tunay Hussein said in a joint letter: “The governors made clear to the DfE that we were very unhappy about the process set out.
“The DfE gave governors only a month to take a decision, which we were concerned, was insufficient time to consult parents and staff properly.
“Furthermore, we were told that if we did not take a decision by mid-January, the governors would be removed and DfE-appointed ‘interim executive body’ would take the decision instead.
“This meant that we had only two options – to agree the academy ourselves, or have it forced on us. This would allow for even less input from staff and parents.”
Noel Park was recommended by Ofsted to be put into special measures in December after a report found it was “failing” and that those leading the school were “not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement”.
AET runs 20 academies across the capital and was set up in September 2008.
The school must now hold a formal consultation period with parents and has organised a meeting on Thursday evening at 6.30pm where governors and the new sponsors will answer questions.
Noel Park is one of four schools that were told they must agree to become academies in December. Ofsted investigators visited Downhills Primary School in Philip Lane last week to carry out an inspection after campaigners forced Michael Gove to put a hold on plans to convert the school into an academy until Ofsted had reported back.
The Haringey Independent understands that governors at Coleraine Park Primary School in Glendish Road have written to Mr Gove to say they will not agree voluntarily to become an academy, while governors at Nightingale Primary School in Bounds Green Road are also set to reject the idea.
More than 1,000 protestors marched from Downhills to Haringey Civic Centre on January 28 to show their opposition to the plans.