Sussex free school ordered to close by Govenrment due to poor standards

The Argus: Sussex free school 'must close', Department for Education says Sussex free school 'must close', Department for Education says

One of the Government's flagship free schools has been ordered to close amid continuing concerns about the standard of education it is offering.

Discovery New School in Brighton Road, Crawley, has been told it must shut its doors on April 4 - the first time this kind of action has been taken.

In a letter to the school's chairman of governors, Chris Cook, Schools Minister Lord Nash said he was terminating its funding agreement.


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Discovery New School was declared failing and placed in special measures by watchdog Ofsted in May.

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said it had been monitoring the school's progress and found it was not making the changes required to improve standards.

Discovery New School was one of the first 24 free schools - a flagship education policy of the coalition Government - to open in 2011.

In his letter to Mr Cook, Lord Nash said he had expressed his "grave concerns" about education standards last month and asked the school for a statement on the action they were taking to address this.

Lord Nash said this statement had been considered, but Education Secretary Michael Gove was "not satisfied that the action the academy trust proposes to take is sufficient in all the circumstances".

As a result, the school was being given written notice that its funding agreement was being terminated and it must close.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Since the school was placed in special measures by Ofsted in May, we have monitored progress closely.

"The trust has not provided evidence they are making the changes required. Lord Nash has today notified the trust that the department will terminate its funding agreement at the end of the spring term.

"We are now working with West Sussex County Council to ensure the children affected have suitable alternatives in place and their transition is as smooth as possible."

Comments (6)

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1:51pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Goldenwight says...

Why should this one school be singled out for poor performance when so many others are failing our young?
Why should this one school be singled out for poor performance when so many others are failing our young? Goldenwight

3:22pm Fri 13 Dec 13

SoupOfficial says...

"Govenrment" in the headline.

Did the Argus staff writer get educated at this school ... ?
"Govenrment" in the headline. Did the Argus staff writer get educated at this school ... ? SoupOfficial

3:59pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

SoupOfficial - education, education, education!
SoupOfficial - education, education, education! Tailgaters Anonymous

4:54pm Fri 13 Dec 13

MICKY389 says...

But I thought free schools were supposed to be the answer to everything, especially Michael Gove's narrow 50 years out of date views on education.Another government flagship taking on water
But I thought free schools were supposed to be the answer to everything, especially Michael Gove's narrow 50 years out of date views on education.Another government flagship taking on water MICKY389

4:56pm Fri 13 Dec 13

MICKY389 says...

But I thought free schools were supposed to be the answer to everything, especially Michael Gove's dogmatic,narrow 50 years out of date view of education. Yet another government flagship taking on water
But I thought free schools were supposed to be the answer to everything, especially Michael Gove's dogmatic,narrow 50 years out of date view of education. Yet another government flagship taking on water MICKY389

10:39pm Fri 13 Dec 13

ourcoalition says...

Always said that Academies and Free Schools (average cost to you, the taxpayer, £6.1 million a time) were an experiment that would soon go drastically wrong.

The best example of improvements in educating children, has been the London Challenge, which since 2003, has seen massive progress in many, previously "failing" inner city schools in the capital city.

It was a Labour Government initiative, and whilst I frequently criticise Blair and Brown, this approach was a success.

But, being a Labour policy, what has Mr Gove done, in his wisdom? Answer - shut it down.

As described above, this is a "dogmatic" action - for me it is vandalism - if it works, but wasn't our idea, kill it dead.
Always said that Academies and Free Schools (average cost to you, the taxpayer, £6.1 million a time) were an experiment that would soon go drastically wrong. The best example of improvements in educating children, has been the London Challenge, which since 2003, has seen massive progress in many, previously "failing" inner city schools in the capital city. It was a Labour Government initiative, and whilst I frequently criticise Blair and Brown, this approach was a success. But, being a Labour policy, what has Mr Gove done, in his wisdom? Answer - shut it down. As described above, this is a "dogmatic" action - for me it is vandalism - if it works, but wasn't our idea, kill it dead. ourcoalition

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