Investigation into ‘exam fixing’ claims at school praised by David Cameron and Michael Gove

The Mirror is reporting that three people in charge of a school singled out for praise from leading Conservatives have been suspended for alleged gross misconduct…

David Cameron and then Education Secretary Michael Gove both visited Cuckoo Hall primary in Enfield, north London after it became a “free” academy under Tory reforms.

But the DoE and Ofsted are now investigating claims of bullying and exam result fixing at the school, which was once one of the best-performing in the country…

In 2012, it was one of the highest performing primary schools in the country but by the end of last year, the number of children achieving government-set SATs target had plummeted from 86 per cent to 54.

It was announced this week that executive headteacher Patricia Sowter, headteacher Sharon Ahmet, and Mrs Sowter’s husband Phil, who is the director of the trust which runs the 870-pupil school, in Enfield, London, have all been suspended following allegations of gross misconduct.

It is understood that Ofsted and the Department for Education are investigating the claims.

Mrs Sowter was given a CBE in 2011 for her work in pioneering the government’s push to encourage schools to become academies.

A source said last night: “The staff are overjoyed. There has been a lot of bad feeling among teachers, who the head publicly blamed for results slipping in the last year. Some feel they have been bullied, victimised and pushed out of their positions.”

…The National Union of Teachers said it welcomed the move…

A spokesman for the Department for Education said last night: “This is a matter for the academy trust, who have acted promptly and informed parents of children at the school. We will be working very closely with them on their investigation.”…

More at: Investigation into ‘exam fixing’ claims at Tory flagship school praised by David Cameron and Michael Gove

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Oh dear – yet another egg in the face of politicians. Moral of the story: avoid all contact with politicians #lifemantra

  2. Janet2

    Another one of Gove’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ now appears to be less than magnificent.  The investigation will reveal what went on at Cuckoo Hall.

    Misleading propaganda about Patricia Sowter was spread by Michael Gove.  He said Sowter had turned Cuckoo Hall from ‘special measures’ to Outstanding.  But she hadn’t.  Cuckoo Hall came out of special measures in 1999 before Sowter arrived and its last full Ofsted (also before Sowter became head) said it was a good school.

    Subsequent inspections (reduced tariff) judged Cuckoo Hall to be Outstanding, yes, but it isn’t true that Sowter turned it around.

    Cuckoo Hall’s just been downgraded to Good.  The inspection took place in June but the report wasn’t published until November.

  3. Janet2

    Another one of Gove’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ now appears to be less than magnificent.  The investigation will reveal what went on at Cuckoo Hall.

    Misleading propaganda about Patricia Sowter was spread by Michael Gove.  He said Sowter had turned Cuckoo Hall from ‘special measures’ to Outstanding.  But she hadn’t.  Cuckoo Hall came out of special measures in 1999 before Sowter arrived and its last full Ofsted (also before Sowter became head) said it was a good school.

    Subsequent inspections (reduced tariff) judged Cuckoo Hall to be Outstanding, yes, but it isn’t true that Sowter turned it around.

    Cuckoo Hall’s just been downgraded to Good.  The inspection took place in June but the report wasn’t published until November.

  4. TW

    Academies exist so that heads can take credit when thing go well and blame staff when things go badly in order that heads and  private businesses can make money out of children.

    How obvious does this scam have to be?

    What would be interesting would be a measure of how many good staff are seeking to flee academies and get into proper schools as they have had enough of nonsense and bullying from predators.

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