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Items filtered by date: Saturday, 21 November 2020

Back in August, I wrote an article entitled 'Griffin Schools Trust: A Danger for Pupils?' about the Trust and one of its schools, Stantonbury International School in Milton Keynes. The school was at one time the second-largest in the country but has lost nearly a fifth of its pupil numbers since being taken over by Griffin.  The school had been placed in Special Measures in January following an absolutely disgraceful report by Ofsted which opens with: 'Many pupils do not feel safe attending this school. They feel intimidated by others’ conduct. Pupils are right to be concerned. Leaders have not been effective in managing pupils’ behaviour. It is increasingly rowdy and sometimes dangerous' and then gets worse.

Publication of the Report was delayed until June probably because of Covid. Subsequently, in view of the Ofsted finding which found the leadership and management, behaviour and attitudes and the quality of education at the Academy all inadequate, the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC)  sent a Minded to Terminate Letter to the Trust on 15th July. This spelt out that she 'needed to be satisfied that the Academy can achieve rapid and sustained improvement'. Clearly, the Trust response to this was also inadequate to the extent that the RSC issued a Termination Warning Notice six weeks later, on 28th August. It almost beggars belief that, even when the Trust was given warning of the RSC urgent requirements in the Minded to Terminate letter it failed so abysmally to meet them, as set out explicitly in the warning notice. This even followed two responses from the Trust to the RSC, the first being obviously inadequate as set out in the Warning. The incompetences included  'There has been a failure to "address the systemic failures in leadership, accountability, governance and monitoring" or to demonstrate how trust leadership would be improved'. although the arrogance that runs through the academy website suggests one of the inherent problems, as exemplified by my previous article.

The Warning Notice also outlines in stark terms the failures of Leadership across the Trust, which includes two other seriously underperforming secondary schools and three local Medway primary schools: Kingfisher, Lordswood and Saxon Way.