Grindon Hall campaign trip to London put on hold

Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland.

Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland.

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A 200-strong delegation of parents and children have postponed a planned trip to London in their fight against criticism levelled at their school.

Action for Grindon Hall was set to head to the capital on Wednesday to attend Prime Minister’s Questions after a damning Ofsted report on Grindon Hall Christian School.

The campaigners had also hoped to meet education secretary Nicky Morgan to present her with a counter report raising issues with inspectors’ views on Sunderland’s free school.

The document highlighted a host of issues, including claims pupils were badly behaved, concerns about racist and homophobic attitudes and the quality of teaching and its management team.

The school’s headteacher Chris Gray has lodged a complaint against the report, which led to the school being put into special measures.

Dr Tim Dunnett, who is leading the campaign, said: “We’re pressing on with all the avenues of our campaign but we’ve decided to postpone the trip to London to make sure it fits at the right time with our aims regarding parliament.

“It’s been an impressively successful week in gathering momentum.

“Everybody is hugely appreciative of all the hard work which has been done over the last week and how much has been achieved.

“Ofsted has been inundated with complaints and feedback following their inspection.”

A meeting held on Thursday saw 300 parents discuss their views on the Ofsted report and how to move forward with their efforts.

Dr Dunnett, who has four children at the school, highlighted how the school achieved the top A-Level results of any school in Sunderland, despite sixth form provision, along with its early years schooling, being listed as areas of concern in the Ofsted report.

Mr Gray said: “To be Sunderland’s top school in A-Levels, and to have maintained our position near to the top of the state school table in GCSEs, isn’t just a reward for what we’ve done in the past, it is a spur to aim even higher in the future.”