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Woolston free school in Ofsted row
11:40am Thursday 6th September 2012 in News
OFSTED has said it may investigate a free school in Woolston after it published a newsletter wrongly claiming to be an outstanding school.
Officials at King’s Leadership Academy Warrington, which opens today, Thursday at the site of Bruche Primary School, released the newsletter on August 24.
It contained a large Ofsted logo with the words ‘outstanding’ underneath – the top inspection grade.
However Ofsted says the free school cannot be graded ‘outstanding’ until it is open and that it may investigate.
A spokesman said: “Schools can only be awarded the grade of outstanding during a full section five inspection under the act.
“Someone from Ofsted’s regional team may contact schools locally to point out inaccuracies.
“That may happen in this case.
“It can’t be registered as outstanding until it has opened.”
Officials at the free school – the first to open in Warrington – say they have apologised to Ofsted.
Super head Sir Iain Hall has been overseeing the project and said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for the ‘error’.
“It was made as a result of elation at the school getting a clean bill of health on more than 80 checkpoints in our pre-Ofsted inspection,” he said.
“I’m told it’s very difficult for schools to get all these 80 points right first time round.
“The elation at the success caused the error.
“If this caused any misinterpretation I humbly apologise.
“I would ask people to look at what we’re doing inside the school rather than on the surface.”
The logo has now been removed.
Warrington Borough Council had complained to Ofsted over the newsletter, claiming it was misleading prospective parents and pupils.
Clr Colin Froggatt (Poulton South LAB), executive board member for children and young people’s services, confirmed a complaint had been made to the education watchdog.
Some 38 children enjoyed their first day at the school yesterday, Wednesday, before its official opening today.