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Tears as pupils say goodbye to Downhills Primary School headteacher Leslie Church
Pupils have said a tearful goodbye to a resigning headteacher at a Tottenham school at the centre of anti-academy protests which failed its Ofsted inspection.
Students at Downhills Primary School in Philip Lane made a book of pictures and cards for Leslie Church, who stood down as headteacher today after the school was placed into special measures by Ofsted, whose report has not yet been made public.
Parent Lesley Moorse, who is part of the Save Downhills Campaign which opposes Education Secretary Michael Gove’s bid to force the school into becoming an academy, said parents, staff and children had been in tears.
She said: “I’m devastated that Leslie has been put into this position – he has been so supportive and hardworking and the kids love him, as do the parents.”
Governors at the school, who are now seeking a “constructive dialogue” with Mr Gove about the academy plan, said Mr Church had resigned for “personal reasons” and retained their full support.
The result of the inspection paves the way for the Department for Education to force the school into becoming an academy.
The school had been given a deadline of mid-January to commit to becoming an academy and to find a sponsor, or face an interim board of governors being imposed, but the current governors argued that was illegal and threatened a judicial review.
Today they reiterated that they believe that any restructuring of the school should not be “imposed from above” and that the current board of governors should remain.