Over in neighbouring Derby City, the local authority is going to law to fight the enforced academisation of Sinfin School. It has a rather chequered history, it’s true: the school has been in ‘special measures’ before and survived a terrible fire which necessitated the school being completely rebuilt. Funnily enough, with a brand new school it was ripe to become an academy but this was successfully fought off.

Sinfin serves a ‘challenging’ area and the LA had concerns and therefore an improvement plan; it was being supported by a nearby ‘outstanding school’ but nonetheless, it ‘failed’ its OFSTED inspection in 2011 and was put back into special measures. The head cried ‘foul’ at the time but the exam data was not good. However, in the 2012 GCSE exams it did better and in fact scraped over the government’s so-called ‘floor target’ which says that all schools, irrespective of the prior performance of students, should get at least 40% of them achieving 5 or more GCSE grade Cs, including English and Maths (usually abbreviated to 5+EM). This was not good enough for Michael Gove, however, and he has sent in his troops to set about ‘consulting’ on academy status.


3 thoughts on “Sinfin

  1. The councillors who took control of Derby City earlier this year seem genuinely committed to making the Council’s schools work for their communities. They’ve barely had six months or so to put this into practice and should be given more time. A local solution has to be preferable to the school being taken over by a government-appointed sponsor/vulture motivated by profit.

  2. I’ve followed the fate of Sinfin over the years. I thought it was telling that once they’d had a brand new school after the fire somebody obviously thought it was worth becoming an academy (they would have been ‘under the wing’ of a local ‘outstanding’ academy) but that move was successfully opposed. There are arguments to be had about how fair the most recent OFSTED inspection judgement was (some people feel that ‘academies’ are getting an easier ride at OFSTED) and as the post says, they had made some improvements and moved about floor target for 5+EM, getting 42% this summer.

  3. Sinfin very much looks like a case where taxpayers have funded a brand new, attractive school building that is now seen as “rich pickings” for an academy chain. There appears to be a lot of opposition to Mr Gove’s plans though from the local community as well as the school’s staff.

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