Harris Academy Falconwood
The Green

DA16 2PE

Coordinates51°27′31″N 0°05′19″E / 51.4585°N 0.0887°E / 51.4585; 0.0887Coordinates: 51°27′31″N 0°05′19″E / 51.4585°N 0.0887°E / 51.4585; 0.0887
MottoServe Support Success
TrustHarris Federation
Department for Education URN135677 Tables
PrincipalMr Tom Street
Age11 to 18

Harris Academy Falconwood (formerly Westwood Secondary School and Westwood College) is a city academy in Falconwood, London, England. The school is a mixed gender school and accepts students based on various mental attributes.


In September 2007 Harris CTC was integrated into the Harris Federation. This Federation was set up by the same Lord Harris of Peckham and has been set up as a coalition of several secondary schools in London and Southeast England. Harris Academy Falconwood is part of the Harris Federation Sixth Form.

In 2013, a number of staff lost their jobs at the school following evidence that BTEC science coursework (GCSE-level) for 69 pupils had been written by Year 12 students.[1]

The Academy has long had a reputation for high staff turnover, with forty staff leaving in 2014 alone.

In 2019 numerous Harris Academies were accused of 'gaming' the system through the practice of entering entire cohorts for the ESOL qualification, which is aimed at students who have English as an additional language (EAL), Harris Falconwood entered the whole of their Year 11 cohort (177 students) despite only having 15 EAL students. This was shown to be common practice across the Federation.[2]

Former pupils at Westwood Secondary School include dance instructor and television presenter Len Goodman, who lived at Blackfen and who was a member of the school cricket team.[3]

In March 2020, academy had to close for the rest of the academic year due to national lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (except for key workers' children).[4]

In September 2020 Terrie Askew retired as Principal, having led the school since 2008. Tom Street, a long-serving employee of the Harris Federation, took up post as Head of Harris Academy Falconwood.[5]

In January 2021, academy had to close again until March due to 2nd national lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic (except for key workers' children).[6]

On Tuesday 23 March, the government’s National Cyber Security Centre issued an alert about a spike in ransomware attacks affecting schools. Despite the academy's software and systems being fully updated at the time, the Harris Federation’s servers have been attacked. A ransomware attack means that cyber-criminals have accessed Harris Federation’s IT systems and encrypted, or hidden, their contents.[7]


  1. ^ "Flagship academy teacher cheated: Harris Federation pupils' science". 18 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Harris schools swamp ESOL exam with native English speakers". 26 April 2019.
  3. ^ Len Goodman (3 September 2009). Better late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-1928032.
  4. ^ "Day one of UK school closures". BBC News.
  5. ^ https://0e58658be539ee7325a0-220f04f871df648cf4a4d93a111e3366.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/harris_secondary_falconwood/uploads/lettershome/T-Askew-Retirement-Announcement-New-Head-of-Academy.pdf[bare URL]
  6. ^ "Covid: New lockdowns for England and Scotland ahead of 'hardest weeks'". BBC News. 5 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Harris Federation - Information". www.harrisadvice.org.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2021.