Ebrington Closure 3
- Article Information
- Published on Thursday, 22 September 2016 17:30
- Written by Mervyn Benford
The Governing Body began a Pre-consultation (C2) on 25th January 2016 with parents and Interested Parties as the initial stage of the current consultation process. The C2 process differed markedly from the C1 Consultation (September 2015), and it was therefore appropriate to distinguish between the two at all points in the Review Team’s analysis of the evidence.
The Review Team received a quite exceptional response to its call for evidence. The lengths Interested Parties such as parent groups, local organisations, local councils and individuals have voluntarily gone to in order to provide as complete a picture as possible of the overall situation were extremely impressive. The evidence supplied by professional bodies was also very informative and helpful.
Many hundreds of submissions of evidence were received by email or in hard copy. Many were in the form of letters, some sent via the local MP at the House of Commons. Further, letters sent to the Bishop of Gloucester, the Governing Body, the County Council and District Councillors were copied to the Review Team. Of all these submissions, only four supported the proposal to close Ebrington.
An online petition was signed by 1300 people opposing the proposal to close Ebrington. 9
Official organisations and statutory bodies provided documents and support as necessary. The Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb MP, provided clarification on matters concerning the new National Curriculum. The Review Team invited the Governing Body to submit evidence, but none was received. A specific request to the Chair of the Governing Body for clarification of two points elicited no response. However, the clerk to the Governing Body was always willing to assist where possible.
The Review Team received a submission which included a USB Memory Pen containing 222 computer files. It is understood that these files were downloaded from a computer open to public access, including children. All the files were associated with St James’ and Ebrington Schools. The analysis of the files by the Review Team found that they contained confidential emails and documents covering a wide range of school activities. Whilst these files present an illuminating insight into the workings of the school, some contained information that represents a clear breach of the Data Protection Act. The files were secured and discussions took place with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). It was agreed that the ICO, on the publication of the Review Report, would receive a full supplementary report concerning this matter. The Review Team has not used or published information contained in these files.
The identity of any individual providing information to the Review Team is treated as confidential. No individual is named in the final report. Organisations are identified within the report by their official name. Officers of organisations are not named, but are referred to by the position they hold. No pupil is identified or identifiable. No current pupil was interviewed as part of the Review.
Digital recordings of interviews were stored securely on a password protected computer and were only used by the Review Team for clarification purposes. All digital recordings of evidence were treated as confidential and will only be released in the event of a court order or with the written authority of the interviewee.