It became synonymous with three girls who fled the country to become “jihadi brides”. So the Bethnal Green Academy decided to change is name to Green Spring Academy Shoreditch to escape the association.
The disappearance of the three girls – one is already presumed dead – distracted from the strong academic performance of the school under “superhead” Mark Keary, reportedly paid £220,000 a year.
But now the spotlight again as fallen on the east London institution for reasons much closer to home – allegations of exam fixing.
Mr Keary and a number of other staff have been suspended pending an inquiry, the Green Spring Education trust has confirmed.
New leadership has been brought in to negotiate another unwelcome intrusion on pupils’ education which saw the academy becoming one of the top performing schools in the country achieving 83% A-C pass rate in English and maths. In 2013 it was rated “outstanding” in all four main areas.
In a statement the trust said: “An investigation into alleged misconduct in relation to some examinations has found irregularities.
“The trustees are taking the matter very seriously and are working with the authorities to address concerns and safeguard students taking exams at the academy this year.”
The school made headlines in 2015 when three pupils, Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum, aged 15 and 16 at the time, left the UK during February half term for Syria.
A year later, the family of Kadiza Sultana said she was feared dead after an air strike in Raqqa.
The school is independent of Tower Hamlets Council and converted to an academy in 2012 but the Town Hall has offered support if needed.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Following an investigation at Green Spring Academy in Tower Hamlets, exam malpractice has been identified resulting in disciplinary action being taken.
“The Regional Schools Commissioner is working closely with the academy trust to ensure students face as little disruption as possible during this time, and we continue to monitor the situation closely.”
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