May 24 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Sunday, August 26, 2012
More than a hundred years of history will be buried when a much-loved Tottenham primary school is rebranded, say critics.
Downhills Primary School – named after a grand home which once stood in the area – will reopen in September as Harris Primary Academy Philip Lane.
Parent Janet Lallysmith believes the decision – an unusual step by the Harris Federation which usually incorporates the school’s former name in any new title – is a move to distance itself from negative publicity.
The Philip Lane school has rarely been out of the papers since January as parents and campaigners fought to keep it under Haringey Council’s control – a fight they took all the way to the High Court.
Mrs Lallysmith said: “I think they want to rub out history. It was quite shocking. The name is a big part of the local community and they decided to change it with no consultation.
“It is 125 years of history that’s gone, just gone.”
Former pupil and Tottenham MP David Lammy was also saddened. He said: “I am proud to have attended Downhills, so much so that it was the subject of my maiden speech in Parliament.
“I will be writing to the new management to ask them to respect the name and history of the school.”