Ixworth Middle Head questions Michael Gove's judgement
You can see the full letter on Wikisuffolk and I think it would be fair to say that Ms Francis was not a happy person when she wrote the letter.
In the letter she says:
Mr Gove felt that the School’s performance in the Key Stage 2 tests (taken at the end of Year 6) did not meet the criteria/level for conversion to Academy status. I do not support his judgement as it masks the wider picture.She goes on:
Mr Gove felt that our Ofsted inspection results did not show sufficient improvement. Our Ofsted grades are ‘Good’ overall with ‘Outstanding’ features. The improvements that have been made, over the last 4 years at Ixworth Middle School, and sustained, are unlikely to be matched by any Suffolk school. Our Ofsted inspection results are indeed better than many schools in the local area. Academy status has however been awarded to some middle schools with less favourable Ofsted reports.Local primary schools do not escape her anger:
We test our Year 5 pupils early in the Autumn Term and we confirm this judgement although data received from primary schools suggests otherwise.And then the whole Thurston Partnership of 17 primaries and Thurston Community College are criticised:
Mr Gove took account of the Thurston Partnership (17 local primaries and Thurston Community College) plans and he saw merit in a schools-led approach to improve standards. Our feeder primaries together with Thurston Community College (TCC) have therefore pledged to offer a better standard of education in every way to your children and those in your communities.Ironically she then complains of not being allowed to attend a meeting (I know how she feels)
Mr Gove also took account of a recent meeting that was granted to Suffolk County Council Officers and Thurston Partnership Headteachers. On the grounds of equal representation, Ixworth and Beyton Middle Schools requested to attend this meeting. Disappointingly, our request was denied and we therefore were not afforded the same opportunity.Quite a letter! She then goes on to supply lists of people that parents might like to complain to about the decision. The letter then makes reference to the possible establishment of a free school. In the letter the claim is made:
We aim to make the transition from 3 tier to 2 tier as smooth as possible for the sake of the children.It seems unclear how this can be achieved when the Head is sending such inflammatory letters to parents and engaging in such criticism of other local schools. Surely co-operation between all of the schools is the way that a smooth transition can be ensured. it is looking to me that this is very much "for the sake of the adults"