Ofsted

Sponsor seeks answers to academy Ofsted bullying allegations

Ofsted had 'credible evidence' of staff being suspended after speaking to inspectors at All Saints Academy Dunstable

Ofsted had 'credible evidence' of staff being suspended after speaking to inspectors at All Saints Academy Dunstable

25 Sep 2023, 5:00

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An academy sponsor is seeking answers over bullying allegations revealed by Schools Week
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The academy sponsor of a school accused of bullying and suspending staff who spoke to Ofsted inspectors during an inspection has demanded an explanation from governors.

All Saints Academy Dunstable in Bedfordshire has been granted permission for a judicial review over a recent ‘inadequate’ judgment.

Schools Week reported last week that court documents from the hearing revealed that the watchdog had received “credible intelligence from a whistleblower” that its executive principal “had been bullying staff in relation to the inspection”. 

A former employee separately told Schools Week they were suspended a day after talking to an inspector during the November inspection.

The staff member said the school had told them the suspension was due to information disclosed in feedback parent surveys and because they created a toxic environment in their department – but said these allegations were later dropped. 

The staff member claimed the suspension was the result of them talking to an inspector, adding “it was just too glaringly obvious”.

Academy denies allegations

In a statement this week, the Diocese of St Albans board of education said it had “responded with concern to the allegations that were made public on Friday 15 September regarding All Saints Academy Dunstable”.

The board had contacted the school’s chair of governors “so it can understand the full context of the allegations and to assess the actions which are being taken by the governing body, as responsible body, in response to them”.

However, it added that it did not have “powers of investigation” into the whistleblowing allegations.

The school’s chair of governors did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the school denied the claims heard in the court hearing, saying that the “intelligence was not credible and if the allegation is raised in the proceedings this will be formally denied”.

When contacted about the staff member’s individual claims, the school said: “We have made our response and have nothing further to add.”

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