Academy trust head ‘sick’ at school’s good Ofsted rating

Warwick Mansell:

A “good” Ofsted judgment for any school is a cause for celebration and congratulation. So why would a leading headteacher say she was “sick” when she heard of a local school being given a good report by the inspectorate?

That is a question that will be of intense interest to those following the fate of the Hewett school in Norwich, a comprehensive currently in a maelstrom of controversy over its likely takeover by a local academy chain.

Email correspondence seen by us shows the head of Inspiration Trust, a chain highly regarded by the Department for Education, admitting she was less than pleased in 2013 when the Hewett got its “good” Ofsted report.

In an email to Sir Theodore Agnew, chairman of the trust, who at the time was also a DfE director, Dame Rachel de Souza, the trust’s CEO, says: “Hewett on 42% [provisional figures for the proportion of pupils achieving five good GCSEs in August 2013] – is it vulnerable again? That good they got [from Ofsted] made me sick!”