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Downhills protestors take over Carpetright
Staff at a Carpetright store in Tottenham Hale may have had a surprise on Saturday when the store was taken over by protestors.
More than 20 families from the Save Downhills campaign secretly planned the protest to battle against proposals from central Government to force Downhills Primary School in Philip Lane to become an academy.
Parents and pupils from the school set up camp inside the store in Tottenham Hale Retail Park for approximately half an hour before chanting their Save Downhills campaign song on the street for all to see.
A parent also wrote a short story especially for the occassion, called Lord Bigwig of Carpet, which he read out to all the families.
Carpetright was the chosen venue as Lord Harris, who is the chairman of the company, sponsors the Harris Federation which could run the school if it is forced to become an academy.
Wendy Sugarman, who has an eight-year-old son at the school, was surprised the protestors were not asked to leave by security staff.
She said: “We were all a bit gobsmacked we weren’t told to leave.
“I think we wanted to make a point, and the point was that it is a very different thing just because we know everything about one place doesn’t mean that you can parachute those values into our school.
“The kids loved it, they were great.”
On Tuesday, teachers from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) went on strike over the proposals, which led to the school being closed for the day.
Instead, parents, teachers and pupils spent the day in Downhills Park making campaign posters, eating a picnic and enjoying the sunshine.
A statement, released by the Harris Federation, said: "The Harris Federation was invited by the Department for Education to be preferred sponsor of Downhills after it failed its Ofsted inspection.
"This was a request we took up because we believe we can transform the education which children at Downhills now and in the future will get."