‘Transparency’ calls over investigation at Cardinal Pole School in Homerton

MP wants answers after claims teachers were told to manipulate assessment results

Hackney MP Meg Hillier has called for ‘transparency’ at a Homerton secondary school following an external investigation into claims teachers were ordered to fiddle students’ assessment results.

The MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch stepped in as education chiefs at Cardinal Pole Catholic School remained tight-lipped about what action would be taken after the report was completed in December.

Meg said she was seeking a meeting with the new executive head, Geraldine Freear, to discuss the publication of the findings.

“It’s a bit of a mystery what exactly is going on,” she said.

Independent investigators were called in last November to examine allegations from the National Union for Teachers (NUT) that staff at the lower school in Victoria Park Road were ordered to falsify assessment results to show Ofsted inspectors that pupils had progressed.

Headteacher Katherine Hartigan resigned following the inquiry but the governing body refused to release the findings, arguing it could prejudice future disciplinary action.

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But silence still shrouds the school two months later.

Mark Lushington, Hackney’s NUT spokesman, said the union had encouraged its members to co-operate with the external investigation on the grounds that it would be made public.

And MP Meg said that parents, teachers and neighbouring schools should be informed of the outcomes.

“I think in Hackney we should not be afraid of transparency,” she said.

She added that communication was especially important due to the school’s move to Morning Lane in September.

“There is an awful lot of community relations work that the new head will have to be doing and that’s one thing I will be raising in the meeting. We need to know what’s happening.”

A spokeswoman for the school said: “We have already shared the recommendations of the report with the school community and have a strong interim leadership team in place to continue the school’s improvement journey.

“It would be inappropriate for us to discuss individuals. We’ve received legal advice which says that under the law of confidence and the relevant employment law the report cannot be disclosed.”