Free school closed

The controversial Al Madinah school, the first ‘free’ school in Derby, has summarily been closed by OFSTED. Following worrying allegations about what was happening inside the school, OFSTED visited and the school was closed after only the first day. Initial reports suggested this was due to ‘health and safety’ issues but it has emerged that there were irregularities regarding ‘safeguarding’ record keeping. Yesterday (3 October) BBC East Midlands Today was reporting that the school had been judged ‘inadequate’ in all categories.

I cannot think of another example of a school being closed so quickly. Even schools that have received the lowest OFSTED judgements continue functioning and are assisted to improve. Closing a school and leaving children bereft of their education is a very serious step. It is hard to imagine that a school within the local authority system could have got to this stage without anyone noticing. This, then, is the product of Michael Gove’s new educational world where a ‘free’ school can operate as it wishes until somebody finally spots severe problems and then, in accordance with ‘market forces’, it shuts!

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Sinfin to be made an academy

Barry Day, chief of Greenwood Dale Trust, which will 'take over' Sinfin.

Barry Day, chief of Greenwood Dale Trust, which will ‘take over’ Sinfin.

Unsurprising really, but it has just been announced that Sinfin Community School in Derby WILL be converted into an academy. Those who thought Gove’s recent setbacks would divert him from his purpose were wrong. The new academy — converted as early as 1 May this year, according to some reports — will be run under the auspices of Greenwood Dale in Nottingham. Continue reading

It’s for your own good

An enforced academisation is being challenged in the City of Derby. Sinfin Community School has been told by Education Secretary, Michael Gove, that  it is not performing well enough and he has sent in his storm troopers, despite the fact that the local authority had an improvement plan.

Fire at Sinfin School Continue reading