Ofsted placed the Warren Comprehensive School into special measures and as a result the Secretary of State for Education took the decision to convert the school into an academy.
The school, and its local authority, sought to resist the conversion. They claimed the decision to convert was based on a material error of fact, namely that the statistics that showed academies outperforming maintained schools were misleading. They further claimed that the decision to convert was irrational because i) it failed to fully take into account the disruption it would cause the school ii) the school was improving and the decision to convert was premature.
The Court dismissed the application and maintained the decision to convert the school into an academy. The Court noted that although the executive planned to change how it recorded data in 2015, it was rational for the executive to rely on the data as recorded in 2014. The Court also noted that the Secretary of State did consider the disruption the conversion would cause the school and that despite the school’s improving results the decision to convert was rational.
Helen Mountfield QC and Sarah Hannett were involved in this case.