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Haringey primary schools could be forced to become academies
FOUR primary schools in Haringey could be forced by the Government to turn into academies if they fail to put their own plans in place.
Officials from the Department for Education visited Downhills Primary School, Nightingale Primary School, Noel Park Primary School and Coleraine Park Primary School last week to warn headteachers that they must make their own plan to convert to academies or it would be forced on them.
The Haringey Independent understands the proposal is part of Education Secretary Michael Gove's plan to close down perceived poorly-performing schools and reopen them as academies.
Noel Park was recommended by Ofsted to be put into special measures last week after a report found it was “failing” and that those leading the school were “not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement”.
All three of the other schools have been handed a 'notice to improve' by the regulator after inspections in the last year.
But parents and governors of the schools – who held a meeting to discuss the move last night – accuse Mr Gove of “an untried, untested experiment”and said there was no evidence it would improve standards.
In a letter calling on Haringey Council to support their campaign against the plan, to be delivered later this week, they said: “The upheaval and controversy are likely if anything, to distract schools from the real business of raising standards.”
The schools would be taken over by another institution or private organisation under the plan, which campaigners say takes democratic power away from elected school governors if it is forced upon them.
Academies are independent, state-funded schools, which receive their funding directly from central government, rather than through local councils.
They have more freedom than other state schools over their finances, curriculum, length of terms and school days and do not need to follow national pay and conditions for teachers.
Academies were originally a Labour policy designed to improve struggling schools, primarily in deprived areas, but the policy has been expanded by the coalition Government.