Ofsted report ‘vindicates hard decision to merge Kentish Town schools’ – council schools chief

Pupils, parents, ex-pupils and local residents protest about the proposed merger of Torriano Infants

Pupils, parents, ex-pupils and local residents protest about the proposed merger of Torriano Infants and Junior Schools. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Three years after a controversial merger saw Torriano Primary School formed, teachers and governors are celebrating a top-of-the-class Ofsted rating that Camden Council’s education chief said “vindicated” the decision to amalgamate the schools.

Torriano Junior School

Torriano Junior School - Credit: Archant

Torriano Primary was founded when the then-struggling Torriano Infants School and the previously “outstanding” Torriano Junior School, both in Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, were merged in summer 2015, much to the chagrin of some parents and ex-teaching staff.

However, in an inspection that took place in September, the new school was rated “outstanding” across the board in a report that says: “Pupils make exceptional progress.”

Luca Salice, chair of the school’s governing body, said: “I’m really pleased that our vision to merge the two Torriano schools has now been endorsed by Ofsted.

“Inspectors have praised our innovative curriculum, our celebration of diversity and our pupils’ behaviour, as well as their progress and attainment.

“I am proud of the hard work and dedication of children, staff and parents.”

Camden Council’s education and early years chief Cllr Angela Mason, who spoke out in favour of the merger three years ago said: “Torriano Primary is a truly remarkable school.

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“This glowing Ofsted Report vindicates the decision, hard as it was, to integrate the infants into one primary school. Many congratulations to everyone at the school.”

Writing to parents, headteacher Helen Bruckdorfer said: “We are totally thrilled with our new Ofsted report and have been overwhelmed by the generous messages of celebration from our school community and beyond.”

The merger was pushed through after the town hall and school leaders argued the infants school had failed to improve quickly enough following a poor Ofsted report in February 2014.

At the time, hundreds of people signed a petition against the decision, with parents claiming it had been “railroaded through”.

Torriano Junior School had received outstanding Ofsted ratings at the two inspections before the merger, in 2009 and 2005.