Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Visit to Harris Academy

This morning, I visited for the first time the Harris Academy Merton that is located in my ward Pollards Hill. The school having been established on 1st September, as an academy along with the nearby St Marks Academy already seems to have turned a corner. I was very impressed by the new head Andy Halpin, a very straight talking person who has a clear vision of where he wants to bring the school.

I was also during my visit that over 700 parents attended a recent open evening, a quite phenomenal figure given that the old Tamworth Manor School would struggle to get three figures along to an open evening. Already 60 parents have made enquiries about transferring their kids to Harris Academy and already people are recognising locally that things have changed and now want to sent their kids to the school instead of running a mile like was previously the case. I have no doubt that this school will be oversubscribed this year.

What also impressed me are the firm line on school uniform and zero tolerance on not having the correct uniform, installing rules and adhering to them has to be key to installing a high level of discipline within the school. The behaviour of pupils in lesson was also exemplary.

The school is also to have a further £5Million spent to improve and modernise facilities further within the school, which is something I welcome.

Seeing the school and how it is has changed, I believe it has vindicated the decision that academy status will offer the school a whole new range of opportunities and improve standards. The decision of the then Labour controlled Merton Council in changing the status of the school was correct and I have no doubt we will be vindicated in making the school an academy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

re Harris Academy - before your meeting I suggest you observe the behaviour of the pupils between 3 and 4 pm at the 152/118 bus stop on the junction of Rowan Road and Northborough road. Try getting off the bus then if you can! Suggest that the head of the Harris Academy does the same.

4:21 pm  

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