Horror in Haringey? Hold on a minute ..

20th January 2012 at 00:00

Like TES editor Gerard Kelly, I am a school governor in Haringey. I am chair of governors of one of the primary schools that he sweepingly dismissed as "lacklustre" ("Do popular schools have the right to be rubbish?", 13 January).

Just after I joined the governing body, Ofsted put the school in special measures. But, under pressure from parents and the local authority, the head resigned and her replacement transformed the school almost overnight. There was an improvement in discipline and our results drove us up the league tables.

Many of our pupils are disadvantaged, the majority come from homes where English is not the first language and there is a mobile population. In spite of this, our dedicated, enthusiastic teaching staff continue to transform them into pupils who are "able to count and read", display creativity and have aspirations. We are not complacent, but I do not recognise us in your picture of Haringey primaries and there are many others doing a great job.

It did not need academy status enforced from above to transform our school, but a simple change of leadership, brought about by the local parents you so patronisingly dismiss. Academies may have merits, but Michael Gove's wish to impose them displays just the sort of nanny state attitude for which the Conservatives used to criticise Labour.

Reverend Dr Bob Allaway, Primary school governor, Haringey, London.

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