Pupils, parents and supporters of campaign to halt take-over of Downhills school by a leading Tory party donor occupy one of his carpet stores in London (pictured)


Pupils, parents and supporters of the campaign to stop the take-over of their school by a leading Tory party donor have occupied one of his carpet stores in London (pictured).

NUT members last week took strike action for the first time at Downhills Academy in Haringey against the threat of forced academy status.

The Harris Foundation – a charity founded by the Conservative peer and carpet tycoon, Lord Harris – is currently the leading contender to run the school, despite opposition from unions and parents and from the former management board which was dismissed by the Department for Education for refusing to agree to the academy status plans.

As part of Saturday’s protest, teachers read to groups of pupils in the CarpetRite store in Tottenham and sang songs.

The Harris Federation currently runs 13 schools and says it has plans to take over a further five schools in London by September 2013.

It is currently the ‘preferred option’ to take over Downhills, despite an earlier vote among parents who rejected the idea of forcing academy status on the school by more than 90%.

Two senior figures connected to the Harris Foundation – including its chief executive, Daniel Moynihan – currently sit on the consultative board which will recommend which organisation secures the bid to run the school after this September.





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