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'for profit' failure or unfair focus?

3 March 2014

IES Breckland in Suffolk has placed the issue of 'for profit' organisations operating within the education sector firmly in the spotlight. The free school, established and governed by parents via the Sabres Educational Trust contracted with Internationella Engelska Skolan, a Swedish educational firm, to run the school.

Following the resignation of the principal, IES launched an investigation into performance at the school, which coincided with an Ofsted visit. Following the publication of the review IES has started to make improvements to “strengthen leadership and teaching staff” which they hope will address the concerns raised by Ofsted.

Take away the 'for profit' headline and is this story so unusual? A school identifies failings in the service provided by a contractor and the contractor puts in place an improved service; concerns about the performance of the staff are raised by internal and external reviews and an improvement plan is put in place. I doubt the story would have been so high profile had the school been an LA-maintained community school.

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