Head of City of London Academy Islington leaves after poor results

The head of a controversial academy, which posted some of the worst exam �results in the country this year, is to leave her post.

News of principal Ann Palmer’s departure from the City of London Academy Islington (COLA-I), in Prebend Street, Islington, comes after just 31 per cent of �pupils achieved A* to C grades in their GCSEs.

Islington Green School, as the college used to be known, hit the headlines when it was rejected by Tony and Cherie Blair.

Ms Palmer was appointed in 2008 when the academy replaced the school – taking it away from local authority control – despite protests from parents and staff.

Alasdair Smith, of the Anti-Academies Alliance, a former Islington teacher who campaigned against the change, said: “I feel for the parents and the children having to live with this uncertainty.

“It’s tragic – the only way for schools to improve is �relentless focus on teaching and learning, not on changing status.

“The academy system has been found to have failed and a lot of money has gone down the drain.

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“We have been proved right, but the politicians have not been brought to account.”

Richard Regan, chairman of the COLA-I governors, said: “I confirm that Ann Palmer is shortly moving on to fresh challenges.”

He added: “Our immediate priorities must be to concentrate on helping our pupils preparing for their GCSEs this year to get the best results possible.” The school will appoint an acting principal while governors consider a permanent appointment.