Why Did Lord Nash Really Reject The Institute Of Education’s Bid For A University Training School?

The opportunity for the establishment of a new free school in London was denied by Ministers due to a lack of experience of the parties involved. Parents had collaborated with London’s Institute of Education (IoE) to develop plans for the new comprehensive in Holborn, however, the IoE’s proposal to establish the school as a University Training School (UTS) was dismissed. An Ofsted report earlier this year rated the IoE as "outstanding" in every aspect, and the QS world university rankings had ranked it as the best institution globally for education. Only one other education institution in Birmingham and Cambridge has been appointed as a UTS provider. E-Act NHS academies have high failure rates with five out of the first six academy Ofsted reports published failing to meet expectations. Indicating "inadequate" performance, at least seven of E-Act’s 34 schools received the rating with another school in Haringey, North London predicted to join the list. Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology, opening in September, proposes to offer teachers only 35 days annual leave compared to the 60 days offered in most UK state schools. The academy is not unionized, with staff represented through the Staff Involvement Group. There appears to be a fracture between the academy and sponsor, with Nottingham University claiming it was unaware of the condition regarding the recognition of unions. Finally, Ofsted is still refusing to the release the nine-page draft of an inspection report from Oldfield School in Bath, which was visited in December.

Over 1,000 individuals have affixed their signatures to a petition, which advocates for the public disclosure of the academy’s full concerns. The pressure on Ofsted increases in light of a recent leak of a document purporting to be the Ofsted report by a charitable organization. The people behind the petition are hoping that Ofsted will release the complete draft report soon. When asked if she would comment on the matter, Kim Sparling – the headteacher – declined the invitation. Meanwhile, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which represents the headteachers, explained that the current nine-page report was a draft document that had no legal bearing. Further, its contents were not given Ofsted’s seal of approval. Ofsted has confirmed that they conducted an inspection of the Oldfield school as a response to a number of grievances lodged with them. The results of the inspection have been made available to the public. In the aftermath of the recent development, the school’s last inspection report from September 2012, was deemed to be "excellent" by Ofsted.


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