The Durham Free School was put into special measures by Ofsted today. Shortly afterwards Nicky Morgan announced in parliament that she was terminating the funding agreement. This comes after being praised by Gove as a school that would improve education in the North of England. The school had lost its Headteacher just before Christmas and there were conflicting stories about whether he was sacked or resigned and whether he would be coming back.
The school was issued with a notice to improve by the Education Finance Agency at the end of last year when it was revealed that the first term had cost £900,000.
The school had attracted just over half of the pupils it had space for. This collapse is no subject for celebration. It is a huge waste of public money and a disaster for the pupils and staff concerned. This is the third free school to close. Schools should now be given a route back to the local authority if they choose it. Primaries are 80% run by LAs and are succeeding at a much higher rate.
This flagship Gove free school policy needs to be berthed immediately.