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Labour group gives support to new governors at Grange Primary School
A political row has erupted after a "crisis" in a school's former governing body.
Last week it was announced a new chairman of governors had been appointed to Grange Primary School, in Welbeck Road, South Harrow after it received a 'requires improvement' status from Ofsted inspectors.
Inspectors visited the school on June 5 and published their report last week. Lead inspector Zahid Aziz wrote: "Governors have not been sufficiently challenging and sharp enough to make sure effective policies and procedures are applied across the school to raise standards, improve teaching and ensure the monitoring of safeguarding procedures."
The report said the school should ensure governors had a good grasp of procedures to monitor achievement, and recommended an external review to assess how this could be improved.
It went on that restructuring was taking place, but said these efforts - and a "real focus" on training - were recent and have not had time to make a marked impact on pupils’ achievement.
Following the announcement of the new chairman the Harrow Labour Group said the "nightmare was now over for the school" following a "crisis within the governing body".
Labour Councillor Bill Phillips, the group's spokesman for schools, said: “We are fully in support of the newly appointed chairman of Governors. Council officers have worked particularly hard to deal with a very difficult situation which is now stabilised.
“The work of Harrow Schools' Improvement Partnership has ensured that the school has quickly regained the very high standard that the parents of Harrow expect from all our schools.”
Labour claims the issue was partly down to the role of the previous chair of governors, councillor Husain Akhtar, who was involved in the school’s application for academy status, which was later withdrawn.
Since then councillor Akhtar and other school governors have stepped down and Harrow Borough Council has appointed a new chair of governors who has been given the support of the Labour group.
In response, councillor Akhtar said: “It was the governing body of the Grange Primary School that decided by a majority vote to apply for the academy status.
“The governing body as a whole made the decision, not just me. Likewise it was the governing body which made the decision to withdraw the application.
“I resigned from the school governing body in April 2013 because of much demand on my time. It is rather mischievous and unfair to say that I drove the school into crisis.”
The Harrow Times has contacted Harrow Council about the new governors at the school and is awaiting a reply.
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