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Council votes to shut church school

SET FOR CLOSURE: John Loughborough School in Tottenham, north London

THE CLOSURE of a school that aims to raise attainment among African Caribbean pupils appears certain, but its supporters remain steadfast in the fight to keep it open.

On Tuesday, April 16, Haringey Council voted in favour of permanently shutting the John Loughborough School in Tottenham, north London, this summer.

The council argued that the school has not been meeting the required educational standards, and had not been doing so for some time now.

It has received a number of poor Ofsted inspections, and was put in special measures in December 2011. Last year, the school produced the worst GCSE results in the borough.

Councillor Ann Waters, Haringey Council’s cabinet member for children, said: “Our priority is to ensure that all children in Haringey have access to an outstanding education.

“I understand that John Loughborough is a safe and caring school, with a distinctive religious ethos, and that there have been efforts to improve the standards of the school.


“But despite a number of critical Ofsted inspections since 2007 – and support both from the Seventh Day Adventist Church and from the local authority – it is clear that educational achievement and standards are too low and that closing the school is the right decision.”

The council’s plan will now be referred to the secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, for final approval.


The vote to close the school is a major blow to friends and founders of the Seventh Day Adventist school, set up in 1980 as a solution to the under-performance of black pupils in mainstream schools.

A petition to keep the school open has been signed by 1,700 people, while many more have written letters of support.

Supporters said they will also be making a submission to Gove’s office, arguing that the school had been ‘set up to fail’ by installing an Interim Executive Board who lacked the skills to bring it up to par.

Former headteacher Keith Davidson, who led the school between 1985 and 1993, said the council’s claim of support were disingenuous.

In 2008, Dr June Alexis was unfairly dismissed as head teacher, but in the same year the school enjoyed its best ever GCSE results.

FIGHTING: Dr Keith Davidson

Davidson told The Voice: “There is a history here that we can’t forget. From the day it opened Haringey Council never wanted this type of school in the area, and have done everything in their power since to undermine its presence.

“Instead of making it better, they made it worse. In 2008, the school enjoyed some of their best GCSE results but they got rid of the person who was making it better.”

Despite the imminent closure, the former principal said: “We will be considering a judicial review and other options like turning the school into academy or even a free school”.

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