James Forsyth James Forsyth

Failing free school to be shut

The Department for Education is determined to show that it’ll deal quickly with any failing free school. This morning it has announced that the Al-Madinah free school in Derby will be taken over by Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust, a successful East Midlands academy chain. Meanwhile, the Discovery New School in Crawley, which has failed a second Oftsed inspection, has been given 10 days to sort itself out or be closed.

Any innovation involves a certain amount of risk. But the fact that three quarters of free schools have been rated as good or outstanding under Ofsted’s new tougher inspection regime, suggests that the policy is generally succeeding. But the speed with which the Department for Education is acting against these two sub-standard free schools shows that failures within this system will be rooted out ruthlessly.

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