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This will not help school
10:00am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Letters
Having read the Eynsham Community Primary School Ofsted report based on a two-day inspection in February, a report which is by no means entirely negative, it’s difficult to comprehend the language used by your reporter Fran Bardsley on April 5 and the inanities attributed to Melinda Tilley.
Is it helpful to to say the school “has been plunged into special measures” and talk of “a crunch meeting”? An Ofsted inspection is not a soap opera or a melodrama, for its consequences to pupils, parents, staff and governors are far too serious. Eynsham will now be subject to direct intervention and further inspections (by a commercial company – education for money rather than money for education).
As for Mrs Tilley, she is quoted as saying Eynsham Primary had been “on our radar for a while”. So did she, as cabinet member for schools improvement, and her education officers offer to do anything to help, or did they just sit and wait until Ofsted shot the school down?
As for Mrs Tilley’s notion that Oxfordshire County Council “will step in before the Department of Education”, on February 14 she and her cabinet colleagues voted in favour of Michael Gove’s Academy Programme; Eynsham is now very likely to be forced to become a sponsored academy, with all that that entails, including sackings.
Perhaps Eynsham, building on its surviving strengths, will be given an opportunity to move out of special measures. Perhaps?
Meanwhile, the county council is planning to commission an “outside organisation” (at what cost?) to draw up plans on how academies (etc) can be further developed in Oxfordshire.
BRUCE ROSS-SMITH, Bowness Avenue, Headington, Oxford