Sinfin Community School governors replaced by government

The governors at Sinfin Community School in Derby have been replaced over concerns about standards

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The government has taken over the running of a Derby school with about 900 pupils after raising "serious concerns" about standards there.

Sinfin Community School was placed into special measures by Ofsted in February and a follow-up report last month said inadequate progress had been made.

The Department for Education has now replaced the school's governors with an "interim executive board".

The board will run a consultation on converting the school into an academy.

Teaching union the NASUWT said it would start balloting members next week on strike action against any academy proposal.

'History of underperformance'

Ofsted first gave the school a Notice to Improve in 2010 after it fell below the minimum standard of 35% of pupils gaining at least five A*-C grades including English and maths.

Figures have since improved slightly but the government decided the school's overall progress was "inadequate".

The interim board will now discuss with parents and staff the idea of converting the school into an academy.

In a statement, the Department for Education said: "We have serious concerns about standards at Sinfin Community School. This is a school with a long history of underperformance.

"We cannot just stand by when a school is failing children - we need to step in and make changes quickly.

"Ministers are clear that the best way to turn around a consistently underperforming school is the strong external challenge and support from an academy sponsor.

'Justifiably angry'

"Academies have already turned around hundreds of struggling secondary schools across the country and are improving their results at twice the national average."

Meetings are now taking place at the school, which has yet to comment on the move.

Dave Wilkinson, from the NASUWT's Derbyshire branch, said: "The DfE's decision to impose its own academy sponsor on Sinfin Community School in preference to a local solution developed by Derby City Council exposes Michael Gove's claims of local and community accountability as a sham.

"Derby teachers, pupils and parents will be justifiably angry at this rule by diktat from Whitehall."

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