> Another victory for privatised education…
Education chiefs have put the second North East free school into special measures in a fresh blow to the government’s flagship schools policy.
Following their latest visit to Grindon Hall Christian School, in Sunderland, Ofsted inspectors said the school is inadequate and needs to urgently improve the quality and impact of leaders.
The news comes less than 24 hours after Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced Durham Free School is to close following an equally damning Ofsted report.
Both schools have been heavily criticised by inspectors for failing to help students understand “British values” or “prepare them for life in modern Britain”.
However, parents and staff at both schools have vehemently defended the institutions and accused Ofsted of getting it wrong.
Headteacher at Grindon Hall, Chris Gray, who recently made an official complaint to Ofsted about the ‘hostile’ questioning of pupils, said the report lacks any sense of proportion.
“The Ofsted report issued to us today will come as a huge shock to our parents, pupils and staff because they – along with anyone who knows us – will not recognise the school portrayed there.
“To issue a report that grades the best performing secondary state-funded school in Sunderland (latest published GCSE results) as the worst defies all common sense and logic.
“We take any criticism seriously and aspire to the highest standards for our pupils. We continually strive to be better, but this report, prompted by the new “British Values” rules, lacks any sense of proportion.”
More than 30 parents gathered at Durham Free School on Tuesday in a fight to keep their problem-hit school from closing.
After a two-day visit in November, Ofsted inspectors rated the school, which is currently advertising for a new headteacher, inadequate in all areas.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said children at Durham Free School were being “let down by a catalogue of failures” with no “imminent prospect of improvement”.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Mrs Morgan confirmed the Coalition government will close the school and will work with the local authority to ensure every child is found a place at another local school.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 21 Jan 2015