DfE says intervention proved correct on Al-Madinah School after “encouraging” report

The Derby Telegraph is reporting that the DfE has said an “encouraging” report on Derby’s Al-Madinah School has justified its “right to intervene”…

A statement was issued by the Government hours after the publication of a monitoring inspection which showed the failing free school is making “reasonable progress”.

The second monitoring inspection took place in March and followed an initial damning inspection last October, ordered by schools minister Lord Nash, which placed the school in special measures after it was labelled by the Office for Standards in Education as “dysfunctional” and “in chaos”.

The first monitoring visit at the end of November showed no progress had been made but at the end of January a new trust board took over, under the chairmanship of Barry Day, chief executive of Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust.

The most recent report on the school, which is based in Nelson Street, shows that leadership is now described as “good” and, whereas all teaching was previously deemed inadequate, 50% of primary lessons are now described as “good”.

A DfE spokesperson said: “This monitoring report is encouraging. It shows that the new trust at Al-Madinah is taking steps to improve the school and demonstrates that the department was right to intervene.

“Al-Madinah still has a long way to go before it meets the high standards we expect, but this is good progress. We will continue to monitor the school closely and expect the trust to continue making improvements where Ofsted has found weaknesses.”

…Lord Nash decided to close the secondary section of the school at the end of the summer term leaving it to develop as a primary school only.

Since then more than half of the 140 secondary pupils have left to find new schools…

More at: Whitehall says intervention proved correct on Derby Al-Madinah School

What do you make of these comments from the DfE and the latest news on Al-Madinah? Do you feel the inspection report vindicates the DfE’s intervention, as they suggest, or see things differently? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. Janet2

    The Ofsted monitoring report has not yet been published.  It’s not on Ofsted’s website.  This is another case of Lord Nash leaking Ofsted reports before publication (he did the same with Dixons Trininity Academy free school).

    Of course the DfE had to intervene at Al-Madinah – it was under tremendous pressure to do so. Odd, then, that it’s spinning the intervention as something it started.  That shouldn’t drew attention from the fact that Al-Madinah shouldn’t have been allowed to open when the proposers had “limited knowledge and experience” (Ofsted October 2013).

    Meanwhile, under the radar, the EFA has found another free school opened despite problems recruiting people with “relevant financial expertise within its management structure.”

    But https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/288623/free_schools_how_to_apply_guide_march_2014.pdf that their team has the relevant capability which includes “education and financial expertise” before it opens.  
    See more at: http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2014/04/whistleblowers-claims-about-brighton-free-school-had-some-substance-said-funding-watchdog/#sthash.GUwYgn0O.dpuf

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