The headteacher of a controversial academy school has hit back at critics.

Harris Primary Academy Philip Lane, formerly Downhills Primary, was the focus of a campaign against the government’s education policy after it was converted to academy status in 2012 despite resistance from its governors.

The principal of the school, which was recently rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in its first full inspection, says its results speak for themselves.

Kirstie Fulthorpe, who joined the new academy in December 2012, said: “With any education system or type of school, it has to be about doing things right for the community, the children and the families.

“Our school is doing well. The children are happy and the staff are happy – my staff are almost all staying on to teach at the school, and that’s something I’m really pleased about.

“I’ve got one teacher who’s retiring, but other than that, they’re all staying with us.”

She added: “I think I’ve been able to achieve my aims with the support of the Harris Foundation.

“I can’t comment on whether they’re more supportive than a council would be, because I’ve never worked with Haringey Council.”

Ms Fulthorpe, who says she has always worked in “school improvement”, praised the “enthusiasm and aspiration” of the children, adding that the school had big plans.

She said: “We’re really excited about the coming year, we’ve got some new trips planned and we’re making changes to the curriculum.”