It seems that some of the staff at a newly academised primary in the south of Croydon which is now being run by the Harris Federation need to go back to school, after a document outlining the strict new uniform regime was sent out with spelling and English grammar mistakes, including the dreaded grocer’s apostrophe.
The story from the first week of term about Harris Primary Academy Kenley –not to be confused with the existing, local authority-run Kenley Primary – has managed to make it into the national press, with The Guardian covering the latest row between Harris and the parents at what was until July known as Roke Primary.
Parents last week received a uniform list which included reference to “mohican’s” (used as a plural) and with “pinafore” spelt “pinnafore”.
And as is common when a privately run academy takes over and imposes rigid uniform rules, there’s already been some tears before bed-time at the under-new-management Roke, where the vast majority of parents opposed the takeover by Harris, but were ignored by the Department for Education.
The Secretary of State for Education is Michael Gove, a known stickler for high standards of English grammar, who has Croydon MP Gavin Barwell as his bag-carrier (or Parliamentary Private Secretary).
Parents have returned to the school after the summer break highly suspicious of the new management, and they have not liked what they have encountered.
“Parents are complaining of being shouted at to do up top buttons,” one parent told the Guardian. “Kids were outside the school office for wearing summer dresses, which are only allowed in summer term, despite it being the hottest start to September for years. Boys were outside the office for having an elasticated tie rather than a tie-up tie … in year 3.
“Girls were having their pinafores unzipped to check they had a logoed Harris top underneath.”
Parents are still seething over a broken promise from Harris over the design of the school’s new badge – again, the majority of Roke parents, and the headteacher at Kenley Primary, had advised against the renaming of the academy-run school using Kenley in its name because of the obvious possibilities for confusion.
Over in Carshalton, parents there claim that Harris has broken its promise to them over the design of a school badge at what was previously Camden Juniors.
When polled, 98 per cent of parents at Camden Juniors were opposed to the school being handed over to Harris. Perhaps Harris staff have problems understanding numbers as well as spelling and grammar?
Coming to Croydon
- Friends of Ashburton Park meeting: Sep 11
- Three plays in a pub: The Ship, Sep 24
- Have a cup of coffee and help fight cancer: Sep 27
- Rent at the Secombe Theatre: Oct 9-12
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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