London: Ms Umekwe accused of Creating Atmosphere of Fear at David Bowie’s Primary School.

October 16, 2018

David Bowie’s primary school investigated for teacher cheating and bullying culture

A primary school is being investigated after its Sats results were annulled amid allegations of teacher cheating, financial mismanagement, bullying and intimidation.

Stockwell primary, where David Bowie was a pupil, had its Key Stage 2 results for 2017 scrapped over “maladministration”.


It is overseen by executive head Lilian Umekwe, a “National Leader of Education”. Parents have accused her of running it “like a personal fiefdom”.

Staff warned of an “atmosphere of fear”, claiming to have been pressured to manipulate test results.

A leaked staff survey seen by the Standard says “teachers feel coerced by the executive head to meet high percentages of attainment ... as a result many scores have become inflated”.

It adds: “We are tired of having to fake scores so the school and executive headteacher look nice in the picture.”

The Standard has learned at least 18 teaching support staff have lodged a grievance with the GMB union claiming they have to work “under a culture of bullying and threatened reprisals”.

A number of teachers have resigned. Over 100 parents have written to Lambeth council claiming a “cover-up” over the Sats, and saying the parent-teacher association has been suspended.

Lambeth is carrying out an “audit” of the school, which is part of the Jessop Stockwell Federation, which has over 1,000 pupils across two schools.

The council said it could not comment “on individual staffing matters or investigations”. Ms Umekwe, who has been at Stockwell 18 years, did not comment.

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