As our Sponsor and Chairman, Lord Harris takes a personal role and interest in every Harris Academy generously supporting them financially and with his time. He and his family are regular visitors to our Academies.
Lord Harris’ self-made success as a businessman is an inspiration to our students and his entrepreneurialism is thoroughly reflected in the can-do culture of our Academies.
Educated at Streatham Grammar School, he had to cut short his education at 15 after the death of his father in order to take over the running of the family business of three carpet shops. He went on to set up Carpetright, now a public company with over 600 branches across the UK and the rest of Europe.
In addition to the Harris Federation, good causes supported by the Harris family include the NSPCC and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
When I set up the Harris charity, I did so because I wanted children in London to have a better education than I was able to receive. I left school in my early teens following the death of my father because I had no choice.
I am very fortunate in that I have succeeded in business but I could so easily have failed to do so. I didn’t fully realise the importance of education when I was young and setting out but I do now and that is why my family and I give our time and our money to education in London. An outstanding primary school gives a child the best start in life. I am dyslexic but when I was at school, these things were never identified.
They are now. I want every child that comes through the door of a Harris Academy to leave having grown as an individual, having enjoyed their education and being well-placed for a successful and happy life. Everyone who works for the Harris Federation does so because we believe in the lives of children in London and we want their futures to be happy and successful. That is why our commitment to outstanding education is so strong."Lord Harris of Peckham