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Wednesday 28 January 2015

Daily Mail Durham Free School Fail

After Education Secretary Nicky Morgan made the decision to terminate the funding agreement for Durham Free School, the victimhood machine was duly fired up at Northcliffe House and the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre decided, on the basis of no evidence at all, that, as this was a Christian school, Christianity was once more under attack, whatever the reality.
Why can't I slag off f***ing state schools while sending my kids to Eton, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay

In support of this came headlines like “Girls of 11 quizzed about lesbians and how Whitehall zealots are waging war on Christian schools: A Special report by Tom Rawstorne”, backed by assertions like “It comes after the introduction of new Ofsted rules based on Equality Act … Inspectors can downgrade status based on teacher's handling of law”. And it was a “highly controversial practice”.

Yes, something sinister was at work. And the Mail knew the real reason the school was closed: “Parents and leaders at the school have claimed it was targeted because of its Christian ethos. They allege pupils were effectively seen as bigots by inspectors desperate to promote a politically correct diversity agenda and find evidence of religious extremism”. This was backed up by another suitably pejorative article.

You’ll love this: “Is anyone in your school gay? The 'inappropriate' Ofsted questions for children aged just 11 at school where children were branded bigots … Children were asked whether they had ever met gay or bisexual people … Boy branded a bigot for referring to terrorism when asked about Islam … Chairman of the board of governors branded questions ‘aggressive’”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.

But here a problem enters: the Ofsted report on Durham Free School categorises it as “inadequate” across the board, including “Leadership and management” and “Quality of teaching”, neither of which have anything to do with “diversity” or the questioning of pupils. And the area’s MPs have clearly had enough of the Dacre doggies sticking their bugle in, as a report in the Northern Echo has shown.

Durham Free School was 'a haven for every crap teacher in the North-East', MP tells Commons debate” reads the headline. Pat Glass, who represents North West Durham, put it plainly. The city’s MP, Roberta Blackman Woods, told that most of those fighting the closure had “no direct knowledge of the school”. She cited “very selective comments from the Ofsted report” and a national newspaper talking of “waging war on Christian schools”.

Ms Glass told that “I was aware that there were very high levels of teachers working at Durham Free School that had already been through competency procedures with other local authorities”. All of these minor inconveniences have been selectively removed from the Mail’s coverage, and instead, the idea that Christianity is once more under attack has been substituted. The reality, though, is that it was just a crap school.

Not that the Dacre doggies give a damn about that. No change there, then.

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