Protesting Tottenham parents 'disgusted' with Downhills Primary School governors' removal

Parents protested outside the school as members of the Government-approved board arrived.

Parents protested outside the school as members of the Government-approved board arrived.

First published in News Haringey Independent: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Parents at a Tottenham primary school whose governors were removed by ministers this morning say they are “disgusted”.

Members of the Save Downhills Primary School group are protesting outside the school gates in Philip Lane this morning after the Department for Education sacked the board of governors and replaced them with a Government-approved interim executive board.

Education Secretary Michael Gove wants to force the school into becoming an academy, but had delayed the plan until a highly critical Ofsted report was published last week.

Parent Lesley Moorse said that the local community felt “completely ignored” and added she was “absolutely disgusted” at Mr Gove.

She said: “We’ve sent a letter and so has [Haringey Council leader] Claire Kober after we met with her, but they’ve not been replied to.

“Every step we’ve taken for consultation has been ignored – it’s like they think they can just wave their plan through. But we’ll carry on fighting this.

“It’s not about improving children’s education, it’s about making money. I’d say to the schools minister, ‘go and look at schools in your own constituency that are doing worse than Downhills.”

Tottenham MP David Lammy argued in Parliament in January that 26 schools in West Sussex, where Schools Minister Nick Gibb’s constituency is, were performing worse than Downhills.

The Department for Education argues that the school is “failing” and that becoming an academy is the best way to improve underperforming schools.

An interim executive board, appointed by the department, arrived at 10am to take charge of the school and launch a consultation with parents on the school’s future – with Mr Gove recommending the Harris Federation becomes the school’s sponsor.

The Harris Federation runs 13 academies in south London and is sponsored by Conservative peer Lord Harris, whose Carpetright store was burned down by looters during the riots last August.


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