Teacher challenges council decision not to release Langdon School report

Langdon School in Sussex Road, East Ham

Langdon School in Sussex Road, East Ham - Credit: Archant

A former teacher at a school branded “inadequate” by Ofsted is challenging the council’s decision to withhold the findings of an independent report.

Langdon School, in Sussex Road, East Ham, has recently come under scrutiny after the inspectors downgraded it from “Outstanding” and recommended special measures. Former teacher Rick Helm made a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Newham Council to release a report by education consultant Tim Blanchard investigating management practice and activities at the school from 2004 to 2009.

But Newham Council has rejected the request on the basis that releasing the report would identify people involved which can be used as a reason not to release reports according to FOI legislation.

A Newham Council spokesperson said: “Newham Council decided not to release the information requested under FOI regarding this report as individuals could be identified through references to actions or events.”

Mr Helm has challenged the decision and the Information Commissioner is currently reviewing the situation. According to The Guardian, the report looked into allegations that free school meals, exclusions, and pupil attendance data were altered to make the school look better to inspectors.

Mr Helm also told the newspaper: “I am disappointed that Newham has not released the report, as there needs to be a resolution of these issues.”

The relative of a former teacher at Langdon, who asked not to be named, told this newspaper: “The Government must demand transparency over use of public money. Newham Council must show accountability and transparency.