Harris Federation

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The Harris Federation is a chain of 37 academy and free schools in and around London. Some of these schools, like Downhills Primary School, were forced by the government to join Harris against the wishes of the majority parents and governors.

In 2016 it was described as one of 11 ‘system leader’ academy chains in England.[1]

Its founder and sponsor is Philip Harris, or Lord Harris of Peckham, former chairman of Carpetright and Conservative Party donor.

The 'philosophy' of the Harris Federation of schools has been summed up as: 'Good leaders + discipline + uniform = A*.'

Harris and Microsoft

In 2011 Harris adopted private cloud infrastructure provided by Microsoft.[2] The following year, Harris CEO Dan Moynihan spoke at a Microsoft 'School-in-a-Box' reception at House of Commons. Harris says it now has a 'central, cloud-based solution' for the whole Federation thanks to Microsoft.[3]

High staff turnover

It was reported in 2015 that more than 1,000 teachers have left schools in the Harris Federation over the past three academic years, according to a freedom of information request. The proportion of Harris teachers that leave each year is estimated to be as high as 30% (compared with 11% across the country), although this is disputed by Harris.[4]


  • Sir Dan Moynihan, CEO of Harris Federation. He receives a salary of £395,000-£400,000, making him the best paid of anyone overseeing schools in the state sector.
  • Mike Antoniou, CFO


As of June 2016


Website: http://harrisfederation.org.uk


  1. [http://schoolsweek.co.uk/11-academy-trusts-now-have-more-than-30-schools-and-are-labelled-system-leaders/ 11 academy trusts now have more than 30 schools and are labelled ‘system leaders’], Schools Week, 30 November 2016
  2. Private cloud takes Harris schools higher, Computer Weekly, 11 March 2011
  3. School in a Box Reception, Microsoft blog, February 2012
  4. School’s out for Harris academy teachers in turnover that ‘should ring alarm bells’, Guardian, 13 October 2015
  5. Robin Alcock, Linkedin profile, accessed June 2016