Governors of a north London school facing takeover by an education association have defied advice from the Department for Education and Employment, and appointed a new headteacher.
Richard Dix-Pincott, 50, group manager for school achievement at Westminster Council and a former comprehensive school head in Letchworth, Herts, is set to start at Langham School, Tottenham, on July 1. He will take over from acting head John Beighton, who will head Haringey's school improvement team.
The school's supporters say it has made great progress in remedying poor management and teaching identified by the Office for Standards in Education.
At a packed meeting this week, parents unanimously backed Haringey Council and school governors in opposing the hit squad plan.
It has also emerged that the head of the DFEE effectiveness unit, Michael Stark, faxed a letter to Mohammed Mehmet, chair of the school's governors, on Tuesday afternoon after the two-day interview process was finished.
He apparently acted following an enquiry from a candidate about the education association.
Mr Stark said the association would want to decide who the new head should be if it took control of the school after the consultation process, which ends on June 14, and urged governors to delay their decision.