Durham head to appeal over funding removal

Parents at The Durham Free School giving their backing to it.
Parents at The Durham Free School giving their backing to it.
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THE acting headteacher at the trouble hit Durham Free School is to appeal against moves to remove its funding.

The school was placed in special measures after Ofsted bosses rated it inadequate in all areas.

However, Julian Eisner, who took over as acting head of the school after the previous headteacher, Peter Cantley, was dismissed on performance grounds, said they had not been given the chance to improve before education secretary Nicky Morgan announced funding had been terminated.

He said he accepted there were “issues” but said that they were being tackled.

Parents have already given their support to The Durham Free School and previously hit out at the negative comments.

Mr Eisner said the November inspection took place when he had just taken over and it was a “vulnerable time” for the school.

He said: “We know we are not perfect. We are very open about the things we need to improve, but parents have expressed confidence in the team we have here to really care for their children and provide them with the education they need and deserve.

“No school is without its problems. Pioneering a new school is a very challenging project.”

Mrs Morgan said children were being “let down by a catalogue of failures” with no “imminent prospect of improvement”.

She said the school was “failing to ensure children are looked after, failing to provide an environment in which children are able to learn and failing to provide the quality of education that we expect”.

Mr Eisner said the school, just 18 months in existence, did not yet have older children to act as role models for the younger students, who were sometimes immature, but the picture given of bullying being endemic, and discriminatory language being used, is not one parents recognise of the school.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has confirmed she has terminated the Durham Free School’s funding agreement, but the school plans to fight the move.