Struggling primary school to become academy
A struggling primary school is set to be turned into an academy this year after its teaching and pupil's behaviour was slammed by Ofsted inspectors.
Plans to transform Garden Primary School in Pollards Hill have been welcomed by Merton Council after the school was placed in special measures following an inspection in September 2013.
The Harris Federation is set to sponsor the school's turn around, following a damning report by inspectors that highlighted problems including pupil's failure to make adequate progress in basic subjects including reading, writing and maths.
Councillor Martin Whelton, cabinet member for education, said although a few details are yet to be ironed out, he welcomed the news Garden Primary will become part of the Harris group.
Coun Whelton said: "Harris has a track record of turning schools around.
"Harris Academy Merton has seen some of the best GSCE results in Merton - we have seen the transformation.
"We see this as a positive development and it is good for the local area too."
The Ofsted report criticised the quality of teaching, lack of achievement by pupils, their behaviour and inadequate levels of leadership and management at the "larger than normal" primary school which has a capacity of 474.
It said pupils were failing to make adequate progress in reading, writing and maths and that expectations of them were "low" while school leaders were also criticised for not having tackled issues raised for improvement at the previous inspection.
The decision to turn the school into an academy was made by governors and the Department for Education who have the power to force the school to become an academy should they deem it necessary.
Academy schools are state funded but independent of local authorities.
Garden Primary will become the borough’s second primary school academy and will join two secondary academies already run by the Harris Federation - Harris Academy Merton and Harris Academy Morden.
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