Du­rand in de­tail

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - INSIGHT -

In many ways, Du­rand is an un­likely hero for Of­sted’s crit­ics.

Its com­bat­ive then­head­teacher, Sir Greg Martin, who is now chair of gover­nors, was a favourite of Michael Gove.

The school was rated as “out­stand­ing” when the former ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary chose it as the venue for a speech mark­ing the start of the 2011-12 aca­demic year, and told his au­di­ence: “What has been achieved here is in­spir­ing”.

In re­cent years it has been an em­bat­tled or­gan­i­sa­tion,

with con­cerns fo­cus­ing on its com­plex gov­er­nance ar­range­ments, con­flicts of in­ter­est and the high lev­els of pay Martin re­ceived from the school and the pri­vate leisure cen­tre set up on the school’s premises.

Martin was ques­tioned by MPS on the Com­mons Ed­u­ca­tion Se­lect Com­mit­tee in 2015. Last year Du­rand Ed­u­ca­tion Trust, which owns the school’s land, was sub­ject of a crit­i­cal Char­ity Com­mis­sion re­port.

In June 2017, af­ter pre­vi­ous warn­ings, the Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills Fund­ing Agency

gave Du­rand Acad­emy Trust, which op­er­ates the school, 12 months’ no­tice that its fund­ing would be ter­mi­nated.

Al­though Du­rand’s High Court vic­tory has given hope to other schools bat­tling un­wel­come Of­sted judg­ments, it seems un­likely to pre­vent the school’s fund­ing be­ing axed.

A DFE spokesman says that “the out­come of the court hear­ing has no bear­ing on the process of trans­fer­ring the lead­er­ship, which will con­tinue as planned”.

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