The school that Haringey built

Haringey Heartlands

I walked past this yesterday.

Shot up with impressive speed, it’s the new Heartlands High School running alongside the railway tracks close to Alexandra Palace in Haringey. On a small site, an imaginative design looks to be heading towards a successful conclusion. I’m not as well versed in that borough’s politics but maybe it could be inspiration for Camden, where councillors and officials faced with a similar pressure for school places (a) needed parents to find them a site for a new secondary school in the south of the borough and (b) became mired in one controversy after another with their attempts to build an academy in Swiss Cottage.

It’s true that the project for a new school in Haringey had a jumped start on Camden’s plans to do something similar, but while a brick has yet to be laid on the UCL Academy – first classes at Heartlands are due to take place later this month. Could it be that Haringey benefited from keeping things simple? The new school isn’t an academy. There isn’t an outside sponsor to keep sweet. It’s laid out as a traditional comprehensive, answering to the council. The hope is that it will slot right into the borough’s family of schools and help provide consistency.

There are few examples like that left anywhere in the United Kingdom. Maybe if more new school projects had followed this path the bureuacracy that Michael Gove and the Conservative and the Lib Dem coalition detests in the Building Schools for the Future programme may never have mushroomed.

7 Comments on The school that Haringey built

  1. Local Tory // September 6, 2010 at 1:56 pm //

    People will forget soon enough which building was constructed first. Once children and teachers are on site all they will ask is which is the better school.

    As to which, lets see.

  2. It’s terrible, everything about it was a disaster. Late, over budget, no consultation, the wrong school in the wrong place at the wrong price at the wrong time. I’ve never seen a project so mismanaged. The only reason why they let it become a community school is because Haringey’s love-in with faith based city academies means that it must be one of the few placed in the country where academies out number community schools.

  3. shut up

  4. its a great school as it teaches well

  5. its the best school i have ever seen

  6. i have a different opinion so sorry

  7. theinterruptingsheep // September 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm //

    The issue being that Haringey campaigned vigorously for the right to open a new school. At the time, only A rated Education Authorities could still do that (otherwise it would have to have been an Academy). I believe they were turned down, then appealed and finally won. You can no longer do that – now every new school has to be an Academy or Free School, which means that I think Heartlands was the last new community school in the country.

    Camden was also rated highly and Ed Balls had approved in principle a new school for the South of the Borough just before Labour lost power.

    The UCL Academy wasn’t answering a need for Secondary places in that area (very close to both Haverstock and Quentin Kynaston school). I think many of us feel that it was an ideological decision made by the at-the-time lead councillor for Education in the previous Camden administration – a Conservative with his ward in those parts. A real shame as there is a clear need for Primary School places in that part of the Borough and a new community primary school could have been built which would have answered many of those needs.

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