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News - 9 June 2014

School inspections criteria 'not fit for purpose'

 Following on from the investigations into 21 Birmingham schools,  Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has said that the schools inspection criteria is "not fit for purpose" and greater local scrutiny is needed for England's free schools and academies.

 
Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“The school inspections follow claims hardliners were trying to take over some Birmingham schools, following the emergence of a so-called "Trojan Horse" letter - believed by some to be a hoax.”
 
The document alleged there was a group of conservative Muslims attempting to usurp school governing bodies.
 
Mr Hunt said no school should be judged "as good or outstanding" by Ofsted unless it delivered a "broad and balanced" education. Under his proposals, this requirement would be added to the core criteria against which schools are assessed.
 
The Ofsted report into one of the schools is expected to say the secondary school failed to adequately warn its pupils about extremism - two years after the school was considered to be outstanding by the education watchdog.
 
"How you can go from outstanding to inadequate? And that's because the inspection criteria is not fit for purpose," Mr Hunt said.
 
TK continues:
“This latest comment by the Labour Party continues the political argument about the concept of free schools and whether they can be kept in check centrally by the Department for Education rather than by local officials.”
 
Mr Hunt also accused the government of "incompetence" over its handling of the alleged Trojan Horse plot, saying the education department had failed to act when concerns about lack of oversight in schools were raised in 2010.
 
In his own speech to the Policy Exchange, Mr Gove said claims that free schools and academies could go wrong "more quickly" were "the opposite of the truth".
 
"Academies and free schools are more accountable than local-authority maintained schools."
 
In a statement, the Department for Education said it was vital the Birmingham investigations were carried "impartially, without pre-judgment".
 
If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.
 
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900 E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net
 
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Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals
 
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