‘Failing’ schools get to wipe the slate clean if they reopen as an academy

‘Failing’ schools get a clean bill of health by converting to academy status because they are automatically taken out of the failing category once they reopen as an academy because the DfE is classing all such schools as “new school”. This is from the Guardian…

Schools that are adjudged to be “failing” by Ofsted are automatically being taken out of that category if they close and reopen as an academy, Education Guardian has learned. Ofsted and the Department for Education are classing all such schools as “new schools” even though they are likely to reopen with most of the same staff, on the same site and with the same pupils and parents. Ofsted documents show, however, that any such school would still face a monitoring visit within two terms.

The position came to light after parents at the former Downhills primary school in Haringey, north London, expressed confusion about its Ofsted status after it was forced by Michael Gove, the education secretary, to reopen as an academy under the sponsorship of the Harris chain in September.

Downhills, which was in special measures when it closed, came out of that category when it reopened as Harris Primary Academy Philip Lane. An Ofsted spokeswoman confirmed: “The Harris Academy Philip Lane is a new school … and has not received an [Ofsted] judgement yet.”

Jane Eades, national treasurer of the Anti-Academies Alliance, said: “This looks like another, backdoor, way for the government to favour academies.”

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Categories: Academies.

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