I’ve kept looking at this site over recent months and was sure I had seen them describe the non-existent school as “outstanding” but couldn’t find that word used when I looked recently. It turns out I was right and someone had the bright idea (wish I’d thought of it) of challenging this with the Advertising Standards Authority – and won! Which is why the NFS site talks about aiming to provide an excellent education (excellent kind of means the same as outstanding but doesn’t carry the implication that it’s a grade awarded by OFSTED).
All this is pretty galling because, back in the autumn, the Hands Off Our Schools campaign group distributed a leaflet about the NFS and received a snotty letter from the Torch Academy Gateway Trust, bandying about terms like ‘malicious falsehood’ and quoting obscure sub-clauses of the ASA code. It was, transparently, an attempt to frighten off the campaigners but, with no funding and no tame lawyer to advise them, HOOS backed off. They didn’t do all the things ‘required’ by Torch such as withdrawal, apology etc – they just ignored the threats and, sure enough, none of the threatened consequences ensued. No one should be remotely surprised that Torch, it would appear, were ‘guilty’ of what they accused HOOS of.
HOOS and I have already made clear that we’re not accusing Torch of being misleading in using a PhotoShopped picture of the building which they will partially occupy in September, or by dressing ‘child models’ in NFS uniforms and photographing them in nice but anonymous surroundings which can’t be NFS but, it might be worth checking what the ASA think.