Harris Academy Merton
|Motto||"Achievement is Success"|
|Principal||Mr Leo Gilbert|
|DfE URN||131897 Tables|
Harris Academy Merton (formerly Tamworth Manor High School, and prior to that Pollards Hill High School) is a secondary school and sixth form located in the London Borough of Merton district of Mitcham. The academy is part of the Harris Federation of South London schools which were opened to allow schools in the same area to 'borrow' educational values. The academy takes in students from both genders between the ages of 11 and 19. The school's sixth form opened in September 2007, but at the moment courses are being offered on site in conjunction with Harris CTC, who Merton have very good links with.
The school saw its GCSE results increase from 32% under the former Tamworth Manor High School to 40% 5A-C GCSEs in the result that were published in August 2007.
Since becoming an academy the school has become over-subscribed. After 8 years of service for the Academy, the Executive Principal, Mr Andy Halpin would be retiring to let Mr Leo Gilbert take the job on a full-time permanent basis.
The academy is located on the edge of Wide Way and Recreation Drive, north of Mitcham Common in an area called Pollards Hill. The nearest train stations are at Norbury and Mitcham Eastfields, with the nearest Tramlink stop being at Beddington Lane station which are all about a 20-minute walk from the school.
In 2004, when the school was still Tamworth Manor, people were protesting that academies cause a loss of relationship between pupils and parents and the academy. The decision to make it an academy was taken by the Labour administration on Merton Council and was strongly supported by the local MP Siobhain McDonagh and Labour councillors. Making the school an academy was also opposed by the then Conservative opposition on Merton Council. Rob MacDonald who is a prominent activist in the Socialist Party, was the event organiser and brought the case to the High Court, urged parents to contest the "privatisation" of education. He said academies were being "rail-roaded".
But on 27 July the High Court decided that the closure of Tamworth Manor school, to make way for an academy, should be allowed to go ahead. He argued that parents did not have access to the "funding agreement" underpinning the deal.
The Harris Federation of South London schools is a federation of academies in over five South London boroughs. There are fourteen schools in the federation, with plans for many more. The schools are all sponsored by the Lord Harris of Peckham, who is investing around £2 Million into them to make new facilities and for re-development of certain schools. The boroughs included are Southwark, Croydon and Merton.
- Harris Academy Merton
- Harris Federation
- Merton School Sport Partnership
- Merton - Tamworth Manor
- BBC News article - about opposition to the school
- Old Tamworth Manor High School website