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'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'

Hackney council boss 'obsessed'

Hackney's schools have been subjected to a "reign of chaos" under a chief executive who is "a public school bully masquerading as an East End barrow-boy," a Labour MP claimed in the House of Commons last night.

Buy hidden art of Hackney

Long trumpeted as the home of the London art scene, Hackney is throwing open the studio doors for the next two weekends with more than 250 of the borough's artists available for public inspection. The event is now in its fourth year and participants range from established names, such as fashion designer Abe Hamilton and sculptor Tom Hill, to newcomers such as Helena Ivins who will be selling giftboxes from her living room at 69 Nile Street. Shoreditch Town Hall has 50 designers displaying and selling, while Broadway Market at the bottom of London Fields, will be a temporary home for more than 20 artists. In short, the event answers two burning questions of the moment: what's all the fuss about art in Hackney and what can you buy everyone for Christmas?

More fun than Heal's or Hamley's

Kate Simon goes alternative Christmas shopping in Hackney

Ministers accused of Hackney U-turn

The Government was accused of doing a U-turn yesterday, after ministers backed Hackney Council's rejection of most of the proposals of a hit squad sent in to remedy the London borough's education crisis.

Hackney council backs down

Hackney Council, in east London, last night backed off from a confrontation with the Government over the running of its schools, by appointing a director of education - a post which has not been filled for nearly two years.

Hackney challenges hit squad

Councillors in the north London borough of Hackney meet today to consider a report which urges them to defy the Government over proposals from its school-improvement hit squad.

Education: Hackney school hit squad upset

A government "hit squad" sent into a failing London education authority is being accused by councillors of confrontation-seeking and treating members and officers with contempt.

An Englishman's home is his office

Properties specially designed for living and working are the height of fashion. William Raynor reports

Postcode from the edge: Hackney expressions

Never ventured east of Liverpool St? The rich cultural and historical life of London Fields may surprise you

Personally speaking: A case of governor overload

Last week Ofsted issued a damning report on education in the London Borough of Hackney, and the Government sent in a special Improvement Team. Brian Weller describes the frustrations of being a governor in a Hackney school

Letter: Hackney schools

Sir: I must give an alternative viewpoint to that expressed by Gabriel Thompson ("Confessions of a disillusioned parent", 19 September) in which he explains why he feels justified in taking his step-daughters out of a state school in Hackney.

Education: Hackney pupils pay for politicians' failure

Hackney has set new standards of disorganisation and bureaucratic waste, Chris Woodhead, the Chief Inspector of Schools, said yesterday. Judith Judd, Education Editor, looks at the reasons behind the Government's decision to send in a team to rescue the London borough's education system.

Education: Confessions of a disillusioned parent

For many Hackney parents, the revelations about the borough's education service have come as a relief - but not a shock - as Gabriel Thompson explains.

Education: Hackney puts safety of pupils at risk

Safety and well-being of children at schools in a rundown part of London is at risk, according to a ferociously critical report to be released today. In an unprecedented verdict, inspectors found that Hackney, which oversees the education of more than 10,000 children, is breaking the law by failing them badly. Anthony Bevins and Judith Judd report.

Education: Schools hit squad prepares to move on Hackney

An inspectors' report on Hackney local education authority in London to be published tomorrow will be highly critical. Ministers will take powers to take over failing education authorities in this autumn's Education Bill but they do not have them yet. What can they do? Judith Judd and Lucy Ward examine the options.
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