Ashmount Primary School

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Ashmount Primary School [1] is a Community School in the London Borough of Islington.[2] This means that it is supported by the Islington Council acting in its capacity as a Local Education Authority. The council employs the staff (but the Ashmount Governing Body appoints them on the advice of the Head), owns the land and buildings, and sets the admission criteria.[3] There are normally more applicants to Ashmount than there are places. Islington selects the successful applicants according to the published admission criteria for community schools in Islington. Applicants are ranked in priority with looked after or adopted children first, children with a statement of special needs which names the school, children with siblings at the school, and then the rest. Inside these categories, if required, children are ranked by the straight line distance from the school. In practice as looked after children and children with a special needs statement naming the school are rare, the ranking consists of children with siblings at the school, and then by distance, followed by all other children and then by distance. Each year, in due course, the distance of the child furthest from the school who was admitted on distance alone is published.[4] Ashmount is a "two form entry" primary school; that is it admits 60 pupils each year into the reception class.[5] There is also a nursery class. The day-to-day management of the school is in the hands of the Head Teacher while the strategic direction of the school is set by the Head and the Governing Body.[6] The Head is appointed by the school governors; the annual budget of the school is proposed by the Head subject to the approval of the Governing Body. The terms of employment of the Head are, subject to national guidelines, set by the Governing Body. Should circumstances require it, and subject to the ordinary protections of employment law, the Head of a community school may be removed by the Governing Body, but only by the Governing Body. Consequently the Head is accountable to the Governing Body but not managed by it. These arrangements for the governance of schools in England date from the Education Reform Act 1988 (This Act took all schools out of the financial control of Local Authorities). Ashmount School itself dates from 1957, it was established by the London County Council.

Governing Body[edit]

Ashmount Governing Body has a full complement of eighteen members; six are elected by parents, three by staff, four are co opted by the other governors and four are appointed by Islington Council. The Head is also a governor ex officio. (Of the current Governing Body (April 2012) eight are currently parents of children at the school, another two are former parents: 15 out of the 18 are local residents, the non residents being commuting teaching staff.) The Governing Body normally meets three times a year with special meetings when required. At its Autumn meeting it elects the chair and vice chair of the governors for a one year, renewable term; it also decides which subcommittees to appoint and what their terms of reference shall be. There are, at present, three sub committees:- Finance and Personnel, Curriculum, and Premises. Like the Governing Body they normally meet three times a year. it is their function to consider matters in detail, and if need be, at length and then report to the full Governing Body meeting following with recommendations for action, if relevant. In April 2012 the school underwent an OFSTED inspection in accordance with the January 2012 inspection framework, which concluded that it was a "good" school.[7]

A current governor with a Wikipedia entries of her own is Frances Wood; Former governors with their own entries are Sarah Teather and Helen Castor. Another former governor, now deceased, referred to in a Wikipedia entry, (although without an entry of his own) was Alan Clinton recorded as a founder member of the Workers' Socialist League; at the time he was on Ashmount Governing Body he was active in local labour Politics and held a number of positions on Islington Borough Council[8]

Parent Teacher Association[edit]

There has been an active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for many years (at least twenty) which organises events both of a social and fund raising nature; it is a member of PTA UK " the national charity representing over 13,750 PTAs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland".[9] Arabella Weir is a former chair of Ashmount Primary School PTA with her own Wikipedia entry.

Former pupils[edit]

Jasmia Robinson is a former pupil with her own Wikipedia entry.

School Move and future of the old site[edit]

Ashmount moved to a new building at Crouch Hill Park adjacent to the Parkland Walk on Metropolitan Open Land at the end of 2012.[10] The old school building, an early example of Modernist design by the architect Jim Cadbury-Brown (one of the architects at the Festival of Britain) is regarded by the 20th Century Society as a fine example of its kind which ought to be preserved; they fear that with Ashmount ceasing to use the building, it will be at risk of demolition and so opposed the move.[11] Their views have had a sympathetic airing in the Islington Tribune. A group of residents living on Gresley Road and Whitehall Park whose gardens back on to the school site also opposed the move and established the "Ashmount Site Action Group" in 2009 to campaign against it, thereby putting themselves in opposition to the governors and parents of Ashmount School. Having failed in this aim, ASAG have moved their focus to seeking to keep the school site in use for educational purposes, opposing current Islington council proposals to use the site for social housing.[12] ASAG accordingly promoted alternative educational uses of the site including a "Free School" and urged the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, to intervene and appropriate the site from Islington Council. (Under the Academies Act 2010, the Secretary of State has power to appropriate without payment to the owners of the land, in this case Islington Council). On 22 May 2013, ASAG announced that they had been successful, and that the Secretary of State proposed to use the site for a Free School to be operated by Bellevue Place Ltd. A collection of documents relating to the controversy is available from the "Ashmount" section of the Whitehall Park Residents Association website.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 51°34′21″N 0°08′02″W / 51.5724°N 0.1340°W / 51.5724; -0.1340