Hackney Council regains control of its schools

Mossbourne Community Academy, Hackney. Pic: Hackney Plus

For the first time in 10 years Hackney Council will regain responsibility of its schools, after previously failing to provide adequate educational services.

The borough became the only one in London to hand over control of its education to a private company called The Learning Trust back in 2002 after an Ofsted report highlighted dismal exam results. With the 10 year contract up last week, the council will now resume responsibility, however help is on hand as the trust will become a department within the local authority.

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, said: “The Government has made changes to the role that local authorities have in schools, and the new Hackney Learning Trust, as part of the Council, will be well-placed to manage that change and keep improving education in Hackney”.

In 2002 the borough’s primary school results were the worst in the country, with only 31 per cent of pupils attaining GCSE grades at A* to C. Last year that had more than doubled to 74 per cent.

Acting chief of The Learning Trust, Steve Belk said: “Hackney is now regarded as a borough with rapid improvements, sustained achievements, best practice and innovation in education”.

Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney is one such success story and was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2010. The academy opened in 2004 and occupies the former site of Hackney Downs School dubbed the ‘worst school in Britain’, which closed in 1995.

Last year 80% of the academy’s 16 year olds got five or more good GCSEs while 9 sixth form leavers got places at Cambridge University.

“The Learning Trust has achieved a huge amount in 10 years” Pipe said. “It has overseen great improvements in school standards, GCSE results, and primary education, and has worked in partnership with the Council to deliver capital investment into schools and the Hackney academies programme.”

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