Durand in detail
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”.