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Former head of governors criticises Fortismere

PUBLISHED: 12:20 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:53 07 September 2010

A FORMER chief of governors has criticised the school she served and urged parents to reject a controversial proposal to introduce selective admission policies. In a letter to The Broadway, Jane Farrell criticised Fortismere School and its plan to accep

A FORMER chief of governors has criticised the school she served and urged parents to reject a controversial proposal to introduce selective admission policies.

In a letter to The Broadway, Jane Farrell criticised Fortismere School and its plan to accept 24 musically-gifted pupils from 2010 at the expense of local children.

The proposal, currently the subject of a consultation, has come under fire from critics who claim the process will lead to an elitist selection.

Ms Farrell joined the governors in 2001 and became chairwoman in 2006, just before the school moved to foundation status. She told Broadway: "When we moved to foundation status, the whole rationale was that it would enable the governors to better serve the local community and I don't think selecting pupils in any way better serves the community and will result in local pupils being denied a place."

Other parents have also spoken out against the proposals. One parent, who did not want to be named, said: "This development is the latest nail in the coffin of Fortismere as a comprehensive school."

Tony Brockman, of Haringey NUT, said: "It flies in the face of all the assurances that the governors gave to the parents, teachers and other local schools, when they gave a solemn commitment that they wouldn't introduce selection."

But Martyn Henson, deputy headteacher at the school, said: "The governing body has not made a decision about this. The intention is not to change the ethos of the school, rather to develop the community profile and further the school's reputation as a centre of excellence for music."

Governors will meet in March to make a final decision on the admissions policy.


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