Personal Opinion of Founder
I am devastated for the children, parents and staff at the closure of Discovery New School. Our thoughts are with everyone at this difficult time. It was unnecessary and avoidable.
I think it is unkind to suggest that any appeal or alternative funding option is realistic.
As founders we put in enormous effort over a period 4 years and successfully negotiated every barrier put in our way. It was a mistake to remove the senior management team at a crucial point - losing this unique experience, and then to misdirect priorities at the school that resulted in a late statement of action and poor responses to the EFA. The current outcome was not at all inevitable at the start of October.
As FD I can state categorically that there were financially viable options and responses to the EFA open to governors that would not have started us down this dead.
The Chair of Governors prevented the former senior managment team comment or even contact with staff, parents and governors.
I believe that in two important months Chris Cook created significant new liabilities, missed very important signals from government, and failed to deliver crucial information when required.
The school was to become a far cry from the orginal vision and continued existence risked undermining the values that we aimed for. Serious issues with government implementation and lack of understanding of 6 -12 Montessori education and poor governnce all played their part. At the end of the day the new regime declared the main aim was to pass SATs and it therefore an affront to the principles of Montessori education. One day the UK may be ready but sadly not now. "the age of measurement is upon us and as a society we are the poorer for it". We wish very child a place where they can be known, understood and thrive whether at other schools or home educated.
We were very unhappy at an educational ethos that put testing (DNS new web site) at the centre and the throwing away of a dual track approach that had taken many months to negotiate. This is now, sadly, irrelevant.
Founder from concept in 2009, Trust creator, propser in 2010
and former Business Director.