Second Westminster school set to lose name to ‘powerful academies'

Paddington Green to follow Quinton Kynaston in rebrand

Friday, 1st December 2017 — By William McLennan

Murad Qureshi

Murad Qureshi

A SECOND school in Westminster is set to lose its historic name at the hands of an academy chain.

Paddington Green Primary will be renamed King Solomon Academy if plans to merge with the nearby Ark Academy school are given the green light.

Earlier this year Quintin Kynaston, known affectionately as “QK” for generations of former pupils and parents, was renamed Harris Academy St John’s Wood.

Parents at Paddington Green have been given until mid-December to tell the schools’ governing bodies what they make of the proposed merger.

The school would be split over two sites, one in Penfold Street and the other half a mile away in Crompton Street.

Governors have given the merger the nod, but the Department for Education and government- appointed Regional Schools Commissioner, Martin Post, are yet to agree.

Murad Qureshi, a former pupil at both Paddington Green and QK, said: “I didn’t know these academies were so powerful that they could just rewrite history at a stroke. King Solomon as a name just came out of the blue and has no local links.

“Paddington Green is a place and has been a school for decades. When the likes of the movie world are shinning a light on the area, because of Paddington Bear, it seems strange to be trying to erase the name.”

Max Haimendorf, principal, King Solomon Academy and executive principal, Ark Paddington Green Primary Academy, said: “Students at both schools have made exceptional progress in the last year and we believe that there are exciting opportunities to continue these improvements within a cohesive, all-through approach. We believe, that long-term, all the students we serve will experience an even better edu- cation than they already do at present.”

Michael Parker of Westminster NUT said teachers were set to meet last night (Thursday) to discuss the proposals. He said: “We are not against it in principle. There is no educational or business argument against this. Paddington Green had been in trouble with a falling roll and the council could have made the case for closing it several years ago.” Last week parents from the primary school were taken on a site visit with Mr Haimendorf.

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