UPDATE: Discovery New School to “consider next steps”

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Governors and staff at the Discovery New School, in Broadfield, said they would be “considering their next steps” after being told the school will close in April.

A letter sent to chairman of governors, Chris Cook, from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Nash, said he was not satisfied with an action plan put submitted by the failing school in December.

As a result, the school has been told to close on April 4 2014.

A statement released by the school this afternoon questioned why staff had not been given more time to put their action plan in place.

It said: “The Governors, headteacher, staff, parents and children of Discovery New School are deeply disappointed that Lord Nash has refused to give us the opportunity to continue as a free school.

“Everyone connected with the school has worked tirelessly over the past few months to deliver the plan presented to the Department for Education on Friday December 6.

“Our management team and new partners, including a National Leader of Governance and the Montessori St Nicholas Trust, believe the school submitted a plan that was both credible and strong - and would continue to deliver change quickly.

“We don’t believe that the strengthened management team and new headteacher have been given enough time, working with our new partners, to deliver improvements.

“Ofsted’s last published observations were just 12 days after our new interim headteacher was appointed into her new role.

“Since then, the school has accelerated a programme of improvements and much has changed already.

“Our children, staff and community love this school and we’ll be considering our next steps over the coming days.

“We’ll be seeking to understand - in detail - why our plans have fallen short of the Government’s expectations. And why we’re not being given the gift of time to deliver upon our promises.”