Back in 2012, Michael Gove forced four Haringey primary schools to become academies, lambasting his opponents – Tottenham parents and teachers – as ‘enemies of promise’. Two of the forced academies were gifted to AET and according to Ofsted neither has made sufficient progress. AET has since been forbidden from sponsoring any more schools. Gove handed the other two schools to his favoured chain, Harris. The Harris Federation enjoys close links with the government: Lord Harris is a former Conservative party treasurer and a generous donor to the Tories. Sir Robin Bosher, Director of Primary Education at Harris is about to move to a newly created post at Ofsted with a promise to match his Harris salary.
Today BBC London news highlighted distressing allegations around children’s wellbeing which have come to light. Parents at Harris Academy Coleraine Park say their children have been roughly treated by managers at the academy in Glendish Road, Tottenham.
Harris came to Haringey with glossy brochures and grand promises but next to no primary experience. Is this what Harris means by traditional values and strong discipline? Will Gove stand by Harris as children are manhandled in this way?
Harris has no place in primary education, no place in Haringey.