Holloway school rebranded Beacon High as it joins council-run federation

Stock image of students celebrating exam results at Holloway School

Stock image of students celebrating exam results at Holloway School - Credit: Archant

Holloway School is being rebranded as Beacon High after joining a “federation” with three other council-run schools.

It comes a month after Ofsted inspectors rated the school "requires improvement", third on a scale of four - although the new leadership team was ranked as "good". The school also scored "requires improvement" in 2017.

The move cements the council's control of the school. The Department for Education can force state schools to become academies if Ofsted rates them "inadequate", which is one level below "requires improvement".

But Beacon High's headteacher Alan Streeter told the Gazette: "The reason for joining the federation is simply: there is strength in working together.

"It's about being part of the community because all four schools are Islington schools and I know the previous governors weren't looking for an academy as a sponsor."

The Islington Futures Federation (IFF) also includes Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Copenhagen Primary and Vittoria Primary.

Alan said pupils helped pick the new school name, which was inspired by nearby Beacon Hill.

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Asked why they decided to change it, he added: "It was really about a new identity and taking the school on a journey. It wasn't always successful but we can't change the past."

Ofsted inspectors noted that "teaching is not good enough" and that "pupils do not routinely make progress across" subjects and consequently "do not reach the standards of which they are capable".

Inspectors also found the school had was giving out fewer fixed-term and permanent exclusions, which "historically have been exceptionally high". But the school has still excluded more pupils than the national average, a trend echoed across the borough last year, when 34 kids were expelled.

Ofsted also noted the new headteacher, governing body and leadership team "are taking decisive action to improve the school", and that "the impact of their leadership is evident better teaching and pupils' progress".

Islington's education chief Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz told the Gazette: "We want all our schools to remain in our community of schools. The best way for them to do that is to follow their trajectory of improving. The strong leadership of Beacon High was recognised by Ofsted as an early achievement of the federation."

IFF executive head Jo Dibb added: "We are delighted that inspectors recognised the strength of the new leadership and improvements in teaching."