Special measures school head quits

 

The headteacher of a school resisting academy status has resigned after it was placed in special measures.

Downhills Primary School in Haringey, north London, was judged inadequate in the latest inspection by Ofsted, which was ordered by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The Department for Education said the school, last placed in special measures in 2002, had struggled to obtain the required standards for years and that the independent inspection was necessary.

However, the school previously claimed that Mr Gove was illegally attempting to force academy status on the school and that attainment records, and an interim Ofsted report last September, suggested standards were improving.

The school's governing body confirmed headteacher Leslie Church's resignation adding that the governors intended to stay in place while decisions are made about the future of Downhills.

In a statement they expressed "gratitude for the work" Mr Church had done, and added: "For personal reasons Leslie has decided to step down from his post as headteacher from Friday.

"Leslie's resignation was reluctantly accepted. Leslie is tremendously popular with parents, staff and children and retains the full support of the governing body. We wish him every success for the future."

The statement said there is strong support for the school and governing body from pupils' parents and the wider community and that "immediate action" was being taken to deal with the failings.

They said: "At a meeting of the governors yesterday it was agreed that Haringey Council and the senior leadership team would work with us to prepare a remedial action team which is robust and measurable.

"It was also agreed to appoint a mentor headteacher from an outstanding school to assist our interim headteacher.

"We recognise the work that has to be done in improving standards for all of our pupils and now wish to concentrate on addressing the concerns that have been raised by Ofsted with the support of our local authority."

The governors have written to Mr Gove to ask for a meeting to discuss the future of the school, which is in one of London's most deprived boroughs.

They added: "It remains our position that any restructuring of the school should not be imposed from above unless and until there has been a full consultation with parents, staff and the local community."

The school, which is more than 100 years old, last came out of special measures in 2005 but in January 2010 was told by Ofsted that "significant improvement" was needed.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: "We will need to see the final Ofsted judgment before any decision about the future of Downhills is made.

"We have been clear that we consider academy status to be the best way to improve schools that are consistently underperforming.

"Academies have already turned around hundreds of struggling secondary schools across the country and are improving their results at twice the national average rate. We can't just stand by and do nothing when schools are sub-standard year after year."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Administrator - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Finance Admin...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor