Mossbourne, pride of Hackney, fails to make the grade in national rating of schools

Mossbourne Community Academy at Hackney Downs

HACKNEY can be proud of  Mossbourne Community Academy. As its website indicates, the school’s success has made it one of the UK media’s most-publicised secondaries.

Yet it has not made it into the top 500 state schools-list  based on the educational league tables for England and Wales.

Under Hackney council, the previous secondary on the Hackney Downs site (Harold Pinter’s alma mater) had become one of England’s worst schools. So the Blair government demolished it and built the academy.

That opened in 2004, set up to be independent of Hackney council and headmastered by Michael Wilshaw.

His insistence on high standards made Mossbourne a national success story and won Sir Michael the job of chief inspector of Ofsted, the schools-inspection agency. He leaves the academy soon.

Top of the list of state schools with six forms is Henrietta Barnett School, Hampstead Gardens which, along with Camden School for Girls (placed at equal 99), is just about feasible for Hackney residents ambitious for any daughters. Walthamstow Academy, which teaches boys as well, came in at 401.

Mossbourne, of course, is still much in vogue with such people. This year eight of its students, including a single mother, were offered places at Cambridge after their final exams. Just over 80 per cent of grades were A* to C.

The school has less chance of producing an Olympic-potential swimmer because the new building did not retain the magnificent pool that was the pride of the Hackney Downs secondary.

David Altheer 131111

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