An East Ham school was subjected to a “co-ordinated campaign” of complaints about an LGBT-friendly club for pupils, an official report has suggested.

Plashet School has been ordered to publish correspondence sent to and from its headteacher’s office about the campaign, which the Recorder understands resulted in some staff walking out of their jobs.

The walk-outs – which are the subject of an ongoing independent investigation, being monitored by Newham Council – were exclusively revealed by the Recorder earlier this year.

We reported that two staff members had walked out days before an Ofsted inspection, after the school reportedly shut down an “equalities club” because some religious parents complained that it promoted LGBT+ lifestyles.

The school has consistently refused to answer questions about the fall-out, citing the ongoing investigation.

In December, the Recorder took legal action under the Freedom of Information Act, demanding copies of email chains referencing the club.

The school refused to hand them over, claiming all correspondence about the row was “personal” information.

But the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent watchdog, has now confirmed that the school’s refusal was unlawful.  

The judgment came days after the school's Ofsted rating was downgraded.

The ICO ordered Plashet to deliver the emails to the Recorder within 35 calendar days.

“The majority of the information… comprises of emails from parents,” said the judgment.

“There is some evidence to suggest that these emails were sent as part of a co-ordinated campaign and there is some considerable overlap in their content.”

The school must redact senders’ personal details, like their names and email addresses, then disclose the messages.

“Such is the similarity, once identifying information has been removed, some parents may struggle to even identify their own email correctly,” the ICO said.

The school has also been instructed to disclose all email chains referring to Ofsted feedback.

Plashet had refused to publish those emails, claiming it was information likely to be published in the future anyway.

The ICO ruled that Plashet had “not provided a comprehensive justification” for that claim.

“The information must be disclosed,” it ordered.

Plashet School said: “We note the ICO complaint decision and will be complying within the 35 day window.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further whilst this matter remains subject to investigation.”