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Gove backs down over forced academy conversion after Council brings Judicial Review

18 September 2012

Coventry City Council has launched a legal challenge over Michael Gove’s decision to direct that Henley Primary School be issued with a warning notice, which the Council believes would result in it becoming an Academy.

The Council has dismissed the Department for Education’s (DfE) statement that pupil progress was well below the national average by pointing out that provisional results for Year 6 pupils in English and Maths rose 20% this year, meaning the school now exceeds the Government’s floor standard.

The DfE has acknowledged the school’s progress and decided not to defend the judicial review but will require the School to be inspected by Ofsted to ensure that standards are adequate in the School.

This is an interesting development. Browne Jacobson is aware of another matter where the DfE’s decision to direct a Council to issue a warning notice has been overturned on appeal to Ofsted. It seems that the DfE will face challenges if it utilises its powers of direction in this regard.

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