May 20 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Two education chiefs helping decide the future of troubled Tottenham primary school Downhills have been given knighthoods in the Queen’s birthday honours list - fuelling the academy schools controversy.
Dr Dan Moynihan, chief executive of the Harris Federation, and Robin Bosher, its director of primary education, have both been recognised for services to education.
The pair are joined by Dame Sylvia Morris on the interim executive board of Downhills primary school, which will decide whether it should stay under local authority control or be forced to become an academy under the Lord Harris-sponsored Harris Federation.
Mr Moynihan said: “It was a big surprise to receieve this honour, but it reflects the hard work and success of the individual Harris Academies in our Federation.” Of the Federation’s 11 schools inspected so far, nine have been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Mr Bosher added: “I’ve been very fortunate to be a headteacher for 24 years. It’s been a huge pleasure and responsibility to have so much influence over children’s lives and to help transform them.”
The debate over the underperforming school’s future is bitterly contested and has seen the original headteacher resign and the governing body sacked by Education Secretary Michael Gove, and led to staff and parent protests.
Including the sponsor behind the bid, the people overseeing the possible takeover at Downhills now includes a ‘Lord’, two ‘Sirs’ and a ‘Dame’.
Julie Davies, Haringey NUT secretary, said: “It is a slap in the face for the ordinary people of Tottenham that you are only worth anything if you get a title.”