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Garden Primary School could become an academy after 'inadequate' judgement by Ofsted
A second primary school in Mitcham could be turned into an academy after it was judged "inadequate" by Ofsted.
Garden Primary School in Pollards Hill was placed in special measures following an inspection in September 2013 which means it could be made to convert to an academy.
The report criticised the quality of teaching, lack of achievement by pupils, their behaviour and inadequate levels of leadership and management at the "larger than normal" primary school which has a capacity of 474.
It said pupils were failing to make adequate progress in reading, writing and maths and that expectations of them were "low" while school leaders were also criticised for not having tackled issues raised for improvement at the previous inspection.
The decision over whether the school will become an academy will ultimately be down to the governing body of the school and the Department for Education who have the power to force the school to become an academy should they deem it necessary.
Councillor Martin Whelton, cabinet member for education, made his preference for Garden Primary to become part of the Harris Academy chain known.
He said: "We think that is the best way forward and we understand the school has had talks with Harris Academy being a potential sponsor.
"This is something that I would welcome because they have a track record of turning failing schools around and they have already been very successful at secondary school level.
"We have zero tolerance for failing schools.
"The children come first.
"It's important that they are given a quality education."
Academy schools are state funded but independent of local authorities.
Should it be turned into an academy, Garden Primary will become the borough’s second primary school academy and will join two secondary academies already run by the Harris Federation - Harris Academy Merton and Harris Academy Morden.
A spokeswoman for Merton Council said: "Providing a good education for all our children is a major priority for the council.
"We will review the Ofsted report and take the necessary steps to ensure the children at Garden receive quality teaching and are given the best start to their schooling."
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