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Calls to “seize back” power from academies rejected following Penge school’s scrapped SATs

PUBLISHED: 10:12 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 12 October 2018

A councillor has rejected calls to “seize back” power from academies after one Penge school had test results scrapped by the government. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images.

A councillor has rejected calls to “seize back” power from academies after one Penge school had test results scrapped by the government. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

A councillor has rejected calls to “seize back” power from academies after one Penge school had test results scrapped by the government.

Last month the Department for Education annulled the SATs results of some Year 6 pupils of Harris Primary Academy Kent House over fears of “maladministration”.

Harris Federation, which manages the school in Penge High Street, said it will take the “toughest possible action” where necessary as it investigates what happened.

This comes just one month after SATs from a Harris academy in north London were held up because the school had “mishandled the tests”.

On Monday (October 8) Councillor Peter Fortune, cabinet member for education and children, rejected a call from the opposition to have a Bromley Council presence on the trustee boards.

Academies such as Kent House are independent state-funded schools, overseen by individual trusts and not the council.

Cllr Marina Ahmad suggested there needed to be a “mechanism of having local authority trustees on academy boards” to stop any trend continuing.

Cllr Fortune said: “The case with Kent House is a very sad one but I am confident that leadership is taking the appropriate steps.

“I don’t agree that local authorities should start to seize back power from academy schools. If we remember why they were set up, it is all about giving children an equal start in life.

“If we look at results for KS2 headline data in Bromley we can see they get the best results, for the reading results we are fifth in the country, for maths results we are sixth in the country and for writing we are first.

“Despite unfortunate cases children are getting a great start to their education.”

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