One day after Nicky Morgan announced the closure of Durham Free School, a second free school, Grindon Hall, in the North East was given an inadequate rating and put in special measures.
On Monday parents and staff found out about the closure of the Durham Free School after it was made public and announced in parliament. The chair of governors received an email just minutes before the debate. This is being described a s ‘swift action’ by the coalition, but others see it as sacrificing the pupils at the school to cover up the failing of the programme.
Tristram Hunt claimed that Cameron was to blame. He declared that he would tighten up oversight of free schools and introduce the requirement to have qualified teachers but has not ruled out the opening of new free schools and has not declared that schools will have the right to return to the local authority.
We urge that politicians give schools a way back to the local authority so that there is accountability and transparency for all schools. Primary schools are largely overseen by LAs (80%) and they are thriving according to Ofsted’s latest annual report. Academy status is clearly not guarantee of school improvement.