Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Harris Federation: Spreading achievement and aspiration

TWO YEARS AGO, when it was announced that Chafford head, Chris Tomlinson and deputy head, George McMillan, were going to head across the Eltham Foundation School in Greenwich and help the ailing school, on person commentated: “Transforming a school in Chafford is one thing, stepping into Eltham is quite another.

Perhaps the person had stepped over the threshold of the vast monolithic school and perhaps they had seen their GCSE pass rates.

Two years later, the school, now called Harris Academy Greenwich has attained 72% 5 A* to C including English and Maths. That would make it ranked no 2 in Thurrock alone (just behind Harris Chafford).

Lord Harris will be at he school on Friday, when he will also bring both gold medals from the Olympic team that won just down the road at the Greenwich arena (He purchased two of the horses). But he will also bring his message of achieve and aspire.

Later that day, Lord Harris will then travel to Chafford Hundred where he will open the new sixth form centre.

On the morning of the results, we spoke to Mr Tomlinson about the Greenwich results; what it meant to all the Chafford staff who had contributed and what it means to be part of the Harris Federation.

It does lead some people to ask whether this would be a perfect moment for a school such as Grays to become part of the Harris Federation?


  1. A BIG well done to Chris, George and rest of the staff.

    18 months to get Eltham out of special measures, 2 years to get the school from 30% to 72% and a 15 million investment to build a new school.

    Thurrock can learn a lot from this team.

  2. Does the ‘Federation’ allow women to speak?

    I’ve gotta be honest, I felt sorry for the stooge on the right! Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee spring to mind!

    Is a huge increase in examination success so hard to achieve…when results were so poor previously?

    If you play the game and just teach to the test, focus on Maths & English at the detriment of other subjects and extra-curricular activities and use qualifications such as BTECHs in fish husbandry and the like to bolster A* – Cs, you could even improve ‘results’ at The Grays!

  3. E.C.M very surprised that you did not see her speak in the interview she gave when you made a comment with regards the exam results. Its the same interview!

    Shame you have nothing good to say, this is a great result for the students in Eltham and like the schools in Thurrock the comments you have made are nothing new.

    I suspect you are likely from the LA or some form of Politics and have a case of the green eyed monster, all of these schools doing so well on their own.

    I for one are very proud of our schools, the teachers and the students.

  4. Wouldn’t bother arguing with him Rob,this person clearly has an axe to grind,as u quite rightly say has nothing positive to say about the achievements of kids at Chafford or for that matter all schools in Thurrock.

    Perhaps should put up fpr chief executive of Ofsted, clearly intellectually superior to them.,

  5. Hey Rob & PERMAN,

    Isn’t all this banter fun!

    You really don’t get it…do you!

    A more fervent supporter of Thurrock schools, their staff and the pupils than me, you will not find and credit where credit’s due! But blinkered individuals such as you two, sadly cannot see beyond examinations!

    Question. Do A* – C exams ALONE, guarantee future success?

    I lived in London SE9 for twenty years! Pray tell why “this is a great result for the students in Eltham”?

    ‘Him’…how sexist!

    “Belligerent ghouls run Manchester schools, spineless swines, cemented minds”! (Morrissey 1984).

    I’m not suggesting for one minute either of you don’t have a backbone, but maybe…just maybe you do need greater flexibility in your thinking?!

  6. PS. Maybe Rob & PERMAN should sign up for the Dylan Wiliam day at Hassenbrook to free your ‘cemented minds’?!

  7. E.C.M does E.C.M stand for a she, a he or every child matters. For I believe Every Child Does matter.

    Yes banter is great.

    I feel the long and short of it is that you have chosen the wrong moments to make the comments you have made.

    During the exam results, all the kids care about is how many grades they have to move onto the next stages of education. However your comments have been taken in regards to it does not matter how well they did, the system is wrong. Its my interpretation.

    In 2008 only 30% of Students in Eltham likely got the grade to get that college place, that meant 70% did not. In 2012 72% got the grade that I say is an improvement, a lot more have found it easier to progress further.

    I would love it if you was a Governor, your passion needs to be put to a good use 😉

    My only suggestion for you is create a blog, and choose your moments to fight the system and to make comments.

  8. Yes good banter at least we care about kids education.I actually believe the true measure of a school is where a childs progress starts and ends ,lets say he/she starts year 7 at grade D or C level but through hard work and dedication from all concerned achieves a solid C or higher in years 10/11 then that for me is a more accurate indicator oa schools worth.

    It’s not all about percentages etc but thats how it is at the moment so we must live with it for now.


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