Timeline of Events

2020

21 January - Ofsted monitoring visit (on safeguarding arrangements after concerns raised with Ofsted) - decision: safeguarding is effective

 

2021

 

June/July - Teachers allegations about working environment

 

4 August - The Guardian publishes article about toxic working environment at HPS

August-September - Former pupils (FormerHPS) publicise complaints against HPS - the open letter to the Chair of Trustees (governing body) Anne Marie Carrie citing their safeguarding concerns is available on their website (published 8th September 2021).

 

8th September - The Guardian publishes a follow-up article on toxic environment for students at HPS 

 

10 September - Chair of Governors Anne Marie Carrie resigns

 

20 September - Local Safeguarding Children Partnership for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the borough of Westminster initiates an Independent Learning Review under Kate Richards (Enrich Educational Consultancy) now due to report April 2022. Kate was appointed lead on 1st October.

21 September - MyLondonOnline publishes article about bullying allegations by ex-staff

 

25 September - The Times publishes article about resignation of Chair of Governors

25 September - Department for Education (DfE) appointed Jane Farrell new Chair of the HPS Board of Governors

28 September - Appointment to the Board of Governors (by DfE):

NEW: Dr Vanessa Ogden, Adrian Percival, Tessa Tunnadine, Roy Blatchford;

RESIGNATIONS (announced 5th October): Elizabeth Rutherford, (21/10/21); Peter Mccaffery (11/10/21); Dr Pankaj Soni (29/1/21), Michael Tory (29/9/21), Margaret Allen (30/9/21);

REMAINING: Yasser el Gabry (architect of HPS building and parent at the school but not parent governor, term due to end August 2022); Catherine Blackler (Head Teacher at Avondale Primary School); David Chappell (staff/academy head, no fixed term). 

New board: 5 new appointments (6 by November); 3 remaining (David Chappell) recused from meetings about the MAT, 2 remaining input into recommendation); 1 parent governor (of 2) until March 2022, now no parent governors on the BoG. Understand the Clerk to Governors Stewart Harper is also newly appointed in September (no date).

 

28 September - FHPS write to new Chair Jane Farrell to raise historic complaints and demand an independent investigation.

 

29 September - Head teacher Colin Hall announces resignation at the end of the academic year and SchoolsWeek publishes article about head teacher resignation, as does The Guardian,

30 September - The Times publishes article about head teacher resignation

1 October - Recording of teacher shouting at students currently at school is posted on FHPS Instagram account, this triggers a further investigation (under Jessica Joels, below)

8 October - SchoolsWeek article published about changes in governors at HPS

 

9 October - The Times publishes article about belittling students who struggle at HPS 

2 November ESFA issues a Notice to Improve (NtI) to Holland Park School

 

15 November Stephen Gough is appointed to the Board of Governors.

19 November - SchoolsWeek article on finance warning issued to HPS

19 November - School announces an investigation into historic complaints by students, under Jessica Joels (jessicajoels@gmail.com) with findings expected in early 2022 

 

November - Notification of new parent governor upcoming vacancy and request for applicant statements.

 

1 December - students under FormerHPS share evidence with investigator Jessica Joels.

 

3 December - Parent Governor Sally Bercow’s fixed-term ends (resigns) 

2022

 

1 February - Headteacher Colin Hall resigns from the governing board.

4 February - CoG Jane Farrell confirms MAT consideration is in process in letter to parents.

 

7 February - Board of Governors meeting approves MAT recommendation process

 

8 February - Interim Headteacher Arwel Jones is appointed by the DfE.

 

15 February -The Schools Adjudicator makes a judgment about HPS admission policy to sixth form in particular

26 February - SchoolsWeek publish article on Schools Adjudicator ruling

28 February - HPS Parents Collective 1st meeting organised

3 March - Holland Park School parent sets up petition Stop Holland Park School Joining a Multi-Academy Trust 
https://www.change.org/p/stop-holland-park-school-joining-a-multi-academy-trust-mat

 

8 March - Independent Expert Panel Report on John Bercow is published.

 

9 March - Headteacher advert is placed (closed 22 March).

 

11 March - John Bercow (Parent governor) resigns.

 

14 March - CoG Jane Farrell informs parents by letter that the governing board will recommend United Learning, due diligence process to begin immediately (no details given).

15 March - Parents stage an early morning protest outside HPS front gates.

During the HPSPC protest outside the front gates of the school, Melanie Juno Wolfe, outlines our key concerns.

17 March - HPS Governing Body introduce United Learning's Jon Coles and Sally Coates to HPS parents via an in person presentation at the school and an online Zoom Q&A afterwards. In person meeting ran on significantly so only Sally Coates (UL), Yasser El Gabry (GB) and Vanessa Ogden (GB) attended the online meeting. The online meeting transcription is below.

18 March - Evening Standard put out article about the situation at HPS and the creation of HPSPC

21 March - Members of HPSPC attend a Family Services Select Committee meeting

This is a recording by the RBKC (Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea) of the Family Services Select Committee at 6pm on Monday 21 March 2022. The first hour is devoted to the discussion on the situation at Holland Park School (HPS) concerning the actions of the governing body, especially in relation to incorporating HPS in to the United Learning MAT (Multi-Academy Trust). A number of concerned parents give testimony along with a sixth-form student, and various other council members share their thoughts. The following videos separate out some aspects from the full recording above - Ajani Craig (6th form student at HPS), RBKC Counsellor Robert Atkinson & RBKC Counsellor Josh Rendall.

Cllr Josh Rendall explicitly refutes the Board of Governors (BoG) claim that there was 'no local MAT' that was viable. Here is the transcript of what he said (video below): “On the first question about the SAT, the Governing body as currently constituted, can do that. They can recommend a SAT. They can recommend a little MAT, they can recommend a big MAT. They have that in their gift to do that. They’ve gone for the latter option which is..the big Mat option. In terms of the KAA option, I’d like to say that David Benson and the entire trustees of KAA, which at the moment is a SAT, were ready and in a position to become a MAT by September this year, for two reasons. One is that they have extremely strong governance, of which Ofsted have said that KAA, likewise Holland Park, is Outstanding….Secondly, that RBKC as a council would be a co-sponsor for the new MAT at Holland Park so it would be KAA and RBKC together and that’s really positive. So we do that at KAA already, so KAA is a SAT with RBKC and Aldridge itself, and likewise with Chelsea Academy. Chelsea Academy is also a co-sponsored MAT, a co-sponsored school I should say. So that is the Church of England and RBKC. And, since those two schools are Outstanding…we thought that was the best option for Holland Park. That’s the second option. The third option is that Sir David Carter, who is the former National School’s commissioner, volunteered to help KAA form a MAT by the 1st September. So we’ve got someone with an extremely high skill set, as I said they were the former Regional Schools Commissioner until 2019, in order to do that as well; so working with the council, working with KAA to do that. So our option, and I think residents have said, and our response as a council is that this should be paused, processed and reconsidered because the KAA option, I think, is a good one.”

22 March - Letter from Chair to Parents following governors introduction of United Learning to parents

24 March - Letter from Chair of RBKC Family Services Select Committee sent to RSC, Nadhim Zahawi, HPS Board of Governors and Trustees

25 March - Letter from HPSPC to Jane Farrell, chair of the Board of Governors (BoG)

26 March - SchoolsWeek article on "cherry picking" admissions to HPS

28 March (week commencing) - Framework of the engagement process to be announced.

 

28 March (week commencing) - Parent Governor ballots to be sent to parents (to elect 2 parent governors, no new notification has been made since November (despite resignation of second PG in March).

 

28 March - Publication of the Schools White Paper ‘Opportunity for All’.

30 March - Launch of Holland Park School Parent Collective website.

www.hollandparkschoolparents.co.uk

31st March - Public Meeting held at Notting Hill Community Church with testimonies from United Learning parents and teachers, representatives of NEU and GMB unions. This was the second meeting of the Parent Collective (HPSPC).

IMG-20220402-WA0004_edited.jpg

To understand the basis of this meeting, check-out this blog, that also includes a link to the letter the HPSPC wrote to the chair of the Board of Governors (BoG). Below is one of the testimonies offered at the meeting, viz. Melanie Juno Wolfe, Holland Park School parent, along with the testimonies of an ex-United Learning teacher and parents of a Y10 student in a United Learning school.

Transcript of Melanie J. Wolfe, parent at Holland Park School.

31st March - Launch of petition: Vote of No Confidence in the HPS Governing Body

1st April - Catherine Blackler (Head Teacher at Avondale Primary School) resigns as member of the Holland Park School Board of Governors.

1st April - Ed Vainker appointed to Governing Body (term to 31st August)

 

1st April - David Laws appointed to Governing Body (term to 31st August)

1st April - Letter from Jane Farrell, Chair of Board of Governors, to HPS parents setting out final programme for stakeholder engagement process.

1st April - Local MP, Felicity Buchan, writes to the Regional Schools Commissioner, Dame Kate Dethridge, to raise concerns about developments at HPS.

6th April - 'Stakeholder Engagement' website launched. 

11th April - HPSPC Pre-Legal Action Letter to Board of Governors.

13th April - HPSPC Press Release - content here.

13th April - Chair of Student Leadership Team writes to Chair of Governors, Jane Farrell about student concerns. You can view it on this page. No reply as of 25th April. 

14th April - Regional Schools Commissioner, Dame Kate Dethridge, responds to letter from parent, Rachel Dean. 

14th April - Regional Schools Commissioner, Dame Kate Dethridge, responds to letter from parent, Jennifer Oukherfalla.

19 April - Appointment of new headteacher Steve Parsons announced in a letter from the Chair of Governors

19 April - Board of Governors received the report from Jessica Joels on the student allegations prior to this date, we haven't the exact date as yet

20-21 April - Ofsted visit to HPS

20 April - United Learning write to parents about meeting scheduled on 26th April 2022

22 April - HPS most senior leader and Academy Head, David Chappell, collapses at school and is taken away by ambulance. This is the same day that he, the Academy Head, is excluded from the meeting where Ofsted provided feedback to the governors and interim head - none of whom have any real links with the school. Usually at this meeting a head and governors would motivate on behalf of the school. We understand this did not happen. Please note that governor, Roy Blatchford, is an senior Ofsted Inspector himself. Why was he not using his expertise to support the school before Ofsted even arrived?

22 April - Incident near Notting Hill Gate Underground Station involving two HPS students, later referred to erroneously in the press as an "acid attack". 

Arwel Jones sends following email to parents on 26 April about this incident:

Dear Parents and carers,

 

Some of you will be aware that there was an incident after school on Friday 22nd April 2022, involving two of our students near Notting Hill Gate Tube Station. Much has been reported on social media and in the local press, including suggestions that knives and acid were involved.  Please may I reassure you, even though our detailed investigation is ongoing, that this was not a pre-meditated incident and assure you that knives and bleach were not brought into school on the day as some parents have suggested. 

 

As indicated above, the school is carrying out a full investigations into the incident and appropriate sanctions will be imposed in line with the school’s behaviour policy for any student who has behaved inappropriately. To date I can confirm that the incident involved an altercation between two students. I cannot, however, comment further at the moment as the police and the school’s investigations are both ongoing. 

We are, however, very concerned that a number of other students were also present at the time with some of them encouraging the two students who were fighting.  This was clearly not helpful for school staff and police who were dealing with the incident. What we would expect in similar circumstances is that the friends of the student(s) involved would try and stop such an altercation.  Additionally, we would not expect others to be there too watch.

As parents and carers, may I request that you reinforce a clear message to your children that they should not encourage such behaviour under any circumstances.  This is how all good citizens and, of course, the vast majority of our students do behave.

I would also like to thank the eight members of the school staff who joined me at the site of the incident to support the police and help disperse the crowd, a crowd that included both Holland Park School students and other members of the public.

To conclude, and to reassure you as parents and carers, I can assure you that the school has a zero tolerance regarding bringing contraband items such as knives and corrosive substances onto the school site and any student found to be doing so will be excluded.

Yours faithfully,

Arwel Jones (Interim Headteacher)

25 April - Election for two parent governors closes

25 April - Teachers at HPS vote of no confidence in the governing body

26 April - United Learning Q&A for parents at the school during Ramadan, ensuring a number of parents won't be able to attend.  You can find two blogs about this evening meeting - An HPS Parent's Thoughts on United Learning and HPSPC Insights into the United Learning Q&A

27 April - Student organised protest in the form of a calm sit-in on the MUGA at HPS is cancelled. Not all students get the message and a group create a ruckus that is erroneously referred to as 'the riot. Arwel Jones send the following email to parents about the incident.

Dear parents, 

A small but significant number of our students were involved in an incident in school today during which they were out of lessons in Period 5, causing disruption around the building. Our understanding is that this had initially been planned as a calmly organised ‘sit-in’ on the MUGA in relation to the school’s possible absorption into a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), but that a group of students mistook this as an opportunity to deliberately cause disruption in school.

 

We do not condone the actions of these students whatsoever. 

All students involved will be identified this evening and their parents will be contacted by a member of staff in relation to further disciplinary action.

Yours faithfully, 

ARWEL JONES

INTERIM HEADTEACHER

27 April - Warwick Mansell of Education Uncovered writes about teachers vote of no confidence in Board of Governors at HPS

29 April - Board of Governors & Arwel Jones write to parents to inform them outsourced teachers will be brought in to support the current staff in managing the school

30 April - RBKC issue statement on their website about Holland Park. See it here

30 April - The Daily Mail and My London put out articles about the situation at HPS

3 May - The Guardian publish an article on the situation at HPS 

3 May - Parent Governor Election Results are announced. Melanie Juno Wolfe and Sam Cockcroft (Hesketh) are elected

3 May - Letter from BoG (not signed by Jane Farrell this time) announcing that

a) a number of teachers are being brought in from four MATs (Oasis Community Learning, Mulberry Trust, KAA and ULT) to support current HPS leaders, 

b) Arwel Jones, interim headteacher, has taken time off for a bereavement and

c) a UL consortium member, James Wilson, will be taking over from him as Acting Head Teacher for the time being.

4 May - Evening Standard publish article about situation at Holland Park School, SchoolsWeek and MyLondonNews publish articles about the independent investigation findings.

4 May - 5 key members of the HPSPC meet with Baronness Diana Barron, new school governor David Laws, and Deputy Director for RDD NW London Paul Schofield. Meeting was also attended by RBKC MP Felicity Buchan and Education Department representative Ms Newman.

4 May - BoG post Summary Report of Internal Investigation into allegations by former HPS staff and students on the school website (Summary Report can be accessed here), followed by a letter to parents as shown below. Please note BoG have had this report 19 April and chose to share it 30 minutes before the HPSPC were meeting with Baroness Diana Barron, Schools Minister, and co.

5 May - Local elections are held, including in RBKC.

 

5 May - BBC News run a report about the findings of the internal investigation, and have the following report on their website. ITV put this report on their website.

5 May - The Times, The Guardian, The TelegraphThe Daily Mail  and  the Eastern Eye publish articles related to the findings of the internal investigation.

5 May - Governors: Ed Vainer, David Laws and Yasser El Gabry meet with 3 groups of approximately twenty parents to discuss report findings and actions moving forward.

6 May - SchoolsWeek publishes article on HPS "whistleblowers".

6 May - James Wilson, interim headteacher emails parents about new behavioural policy that will be enforced

Dear parents and carers,

 

Thank you for giving me such a warm reception in the very short time I have been involved at Holland Park. It is clear from spending just a day here that there is a huge amount of good work going on and that students and staff are proud to be part of the Holland Park School community.

 

I have been in senior leadership in London schools for 18 years. I am currently the Principal of Bacon’s College, a United Learning School in Southwark. Prior to that I was Headteacher of Westminster City School for 4 years. As you have already been informed by the governors, I am pleased to act as Interim Headteacher until Mr Jones returns, which we all hope will be very soon.

 

The vast majority of lessons I have visited have been calm and purposeful with students engaged in their learning. This is a credit to parents, staff and students.

 

Clearly, we need to maintain high standards despite the challenges the school has experienced. It is really important that the behaviour policy we have in place is followed so that a calm and safe learning environment is maintained. As a result, from Monday the following will be in place:

 

· Detentions will be run on a centralised basis. Failure to attend detention will result in a day in the inclusion room

· Students arriving late to school will receive a 30 minute detention on the same day. Parents will receive a SMS or email to inform them

· If a student disrupts learning and ‘on call’ is used, a detention will be set and parents notified

· If a student receives two ‘on calls’ in a day, they will be placed in the inclusion room for a whole day

· Walking away from staff, defiance, verbal abuse and continuing to disrupt the inclusion room after receiving two warnings will not be tolerated and will result in consequences which may include a fixed term exclusion from school.

 

I will also be asking staff to ensure the rewards and positive points system is followed so students are rightly rewarded for their hard work and contribution to the school.

 

Thank you once again and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in due course.

 

Yours sincerely

 

James Wilson

Interim Headteacher

Email from school three days later states that in addition to the above letter:

 

Further to Mr Wilson’s email sent Friday afternoon, parents are reminded that students arriving late to school today will receive a 30 minute centralised detention running from 3pm – 3.30pm. 

 

Students arriving after registration, 8.45am, will required to stay for an additional 30 minutes until 4pm. 

 

If you child will be arriving late today for an appointment please advise the Attendance Officer in advance by email to attendance@hollandparkschool.co.uk or by leaving a voicemail message before 8.30am on 0207 908 1063. 

 

Kind regards, 

Holland Park School

6 May - Letter from Jane Farrell to parents about the upcoming stakeholder engagement webinar

9 May - Online Zoom with United Learning as part of the consultation and engagement process outlined by the Board of Governors.

10 May - The Guardian publish an article about a report showing that council-maintained schools out perform academies in England.

10 May - Parents finally hear back from GoB today that planned visit today to UL Trust (independent girls') Guildford High School "will be available if there is demand by parents to visit it". 

11 May - NEU writes to parents and teachers tell students in their classes about their decision to strike on May 18th and why they are striking.  More info on this blog.

11 May - School send out "In the Know" that includes the following paragraph

"STRIKE ACTION

The school is conscious of a potential staff strike on Wednesday 18th May and subsequent dates. The school is working hard to avoid this but wish to reassure parents that should the strike go ahead, provision will be made so that external examinations will still take place as normal. An update will follow when further information is available.

The Leadership Team"

12 May - Letter from Jane Farrell to parents dated 11 May, confirming Arwel Jones has returned (no reference to James Wilson's whereabouts) at Head Teacher after bereavement leave, commencement of a disciplinary investigation into three teachers at Holland Park and referral of one teacher to the Teaching Regulation Agency, dates for governor drop-in sessions, plus information about teacher strike action.

"...We can also be absolutely clear that we have full confidence in all members of the senior leadership team who are still in school as well as the wider staff team. We hope that this is reassuring and that it supports our aim – one that we know you share – that the school moves forward positively and enjoys a period of stability for the good of our students, the staff and you as parents.

That objective is at risk, however, following our third update, which concerns the ballot organised by the National Education Union (NEU) asking staff to vote in favour of taking industrial action on a number of dates this term. The vote was passed and we now have dates when there may be strike action. These dates are as follows: Wednesday 18th May; Tuesday 24th May; Wednesday 25th May; Tuesday 7th June; Wednesday 8th June; and Thursday 9th June.

Clearly if action is taken, it will not only be hugely inconvenient for you as parents and carers, but also, and most importantly, significantly disrupt students’ education, impacting those taking exams this summer in particular. There is no reason that justifies something so self-evidently not in the best interests of students. We continue to speak with the NEU to do all we can to avoid action being taken."

Please note that the HPSPC stand with the teachers and we know they are doing this because the BoG have refused to speak with them in any meaningful way. The teachers do not want to strike. Please see their email here.

12 May  - Warwick Mansell of Education Uncovered writes about Jane Farrell "taking aim at the teachers"

"A second parent told me: “I am incredibly disappointed that the governing body have chosen to undermine teachers in this way…Teachers have tried in innumerable ways and innumerable times to communicate their concerns about the lack of consultation to the governing body. All of these have been ignored. To suggest that strike action is irresponsible is another example of the board failing to acknowledge and to take responsibility for their part in the current situation.

Michael Wilmott, a regional development officer for the NEU, told me that the union had sought a meeting for more than six weeks with the governing body about the plans. It had finally met Ms Farrell yesterday.

Mr Wilmott told me that there was no indication that the board would go along with what union members wanted: for the proposals to transfer control to United to be put on hold, for alternative options to be considered, and/or for local stakeholders to get a vote on the best way forward.

He added that Ms Farrell’s letter had been misleading in the use of the word “continue”, when the chair of governors had written that “we continue to speak with the NEU”.  He said: “That’s a complete fabrication…they have not had any dialogue with us at all. We’ve written to them multiple times; the first time was 44 days ago, asking for a meeting, and they have not responded [other than with the meeting yesterday] at all.”

 

13 May - Not an apology letter, just a "clarifying" letter from Jane Farrell to parents after the barrage of emails she and the school received yesterday in response to her 11 May letter, sent out 12 May. 

13 May - Governor drop in session with Ed Vainker and Louisa Mitchell.

18 May - NEU Teacher Strike - Week 1, 1 Day - see their follow-up letter to GB here.

20 May - RBKC Labour Councillors issue the following statement.

23 May - Governors write to parents about industrial action on 24th & 25th May.

23 & 24 May - Governor drop in sessions with Ed Vainker and Louisa Mitchell

24 & 25 May - NEU teacher strike - Week 2, 2 Days - see their follow-up letters here

26-31 May - Parent Collective Letter Drive: Newsletter 7, Zoom Q&A, Key-Concerns Letter Support Page for signed up HPSPC members.

27 May - Statement from Governing Body announcing Jane Farrell's departure - letter praises JF and says we "owe her a debt".

27 May - Teachers invite Governors to meet with them. Melanie Juno Wolfe, parent governor sends apologies, other parent governor, Sam Hesketh Cockroft, is the only other governor who attends meeting.

28 May - 5 Jun - Half-term

 

29-31 May - Governors' website hps-stakeholders.co.uk says 31st May is the end of the Governor/UL-run 'stakeholder engagement' process, but recently Ed Vainker said all correspondence to the BoG needs to be in by 29th May.

31 May - NEU write to governors

31 May - Governors are served with Judicial Review from NEU & HPSPC Ltd.

Apologies this is not fully up-to-date. Will catch up soon.

6 Jun - NEU issue press release about the judicial review and SchoolsWeek write an article about it.

6 Jun - Board of Governors decided to put forward United Learning Trust - as the HPS preferred MAT partner - to the RSC (Dame Kate Detheridge, Regional School Commissioner for HPS area), completely ignoring feedback from the stakeholder engagement process.

6 Jun - Jane Farrell's last day as Chair of the Governing Board at Holland Park School, but she remains a member and thus keeps control without appearing to be responsible.

7 Jun - Jane Farrell send parents letter about their decision to recommend United Learning as the preferred MAT "partner" for Holland Park School, that included:

"It was not a requirement under the statutory framework but the Governing Body was keen to hold a full and open Stakeholder Engagement Process to give all members of the school community ample opportunity to give their view. Governors would like to thank all those who took the opportunity to put forward their views, whether that was at one of the meetings we arranged, via email or via the online questionnaire. All parents were also offered the opportunity to speak with a Governor, either as part of a group or one-on-one.

In all, 186 responses were received via the online questionnaire while more than 70 emails or letters considered to be submissions were received via email to the info@ email address. These responses were from a mix of current and former students, parents and members of staff, as well as members of the wider school community.

...

The recommendation of the Governing Body, having heard all views, and using our own judgement and experience, is that Holland Park School should become part of United Learning as soon as possible.

...

during the Stakeholder Engagement Process, Governors met with the Chief Executive and Chair of KAA, and their views and submissions were considered at the Governing Body meeting, as was all feedback received as part of the process.

...

A majority of those who responded to the Stakeholder Engagement Process, whether by email, via the online questionnaire or commented at one of the meetings that were arranged, expressed support for an option that was not United Learning. Many wanted the KAA option. There was also a sizeable number who supported the United Learning option proposed by Governors.

...

the responsibility lies with the Governors, who are legally accountable for their decisions

...

The school continues to be in a fragile state, but I believe we are now very close to resolving the problems of the past

..."

This letter from Jane Farrell cites certain information and leaves out other information that does not support her rhetoric. 

 

We request sight of the results of the stakeholder engagement process. We are sure the governors would be happy to provide us with this to show the full and open nature of the process, and show the "sizeable" number who supported United Learning.

 

We know from our own records a number of parents wrote to governors direct rather than the info@hps-stakeholders.co.uk email. If we add in their emails to those sent to the info@ email, how many did the governors actually receive? By our calculations based on feedback from parents, they are likely to have received a total of 175+ from parents against United Learning.

 

Although Jane Farrell notes that governors are legally accountable, apparently their accountability stops the moment they resign! Rather convenient now she has resigned.

 

What makes school "fragile"? It just needs a good head - we hope Steve Parsons will be.

Please note "we are now very close to resolving the problems of the past"... so why is it "fragile" and "inadequate" (Ofsted)?

Please see this blog for our comments and responses to the content of this letter.

7, 8 & 9 June - NEU teacher strike.

10 Jun - Email from Arwel Jones, that also had the Year 8 assessment schedule attached.

"Dear Parents/Carers,

I write to inform you that the National Education Union (NEU) have written to inform me that they have, once again, called on their members employed at Holland Park School to take strike action on Wednesday, 15th June 2022.

 

Although we will continue to meet with our NEU school representatives in the hope that the industrial action will be called off, we also need to make alternative arrangements for our students on Wednesday.

If the action goes ahead the following arrangements will be in place:

 

1) Students sitting any external GCSE or GCE examinations – examinations continue in line with students’ examination timetables.

 

2)Year 8 assessments – please see new assessment schedule below.

3) All other students – the school will be closed but work will be set on Show My Homework as it was this week.

 

I appreciate that this ongoing action will be both inconvenient and upsetting for parents/carers and for students and really do hope that we will return back to ‘normal’ in the very near future.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Arwel Jones (Interim Headteacher)"

10 Jun - Letter from Vic Daniels, new Chair of BoG, to Parents about the "Inadequate" Ofsted report, including a copy of the report. Please see our blog with the Ofsted Report and our comments here. His letter includes the following:

"The significant weaknesses Ofsted have identified include:

  • Overall school leadership has been poor due to too much responsibility with too few leaders;*

  • Behaviour deteriorating because of leadership turbulence;*

  • Special needs provision which isn’t good enough;

  • The early entry GCSE policy curtails pupils’ education in some subjects;**

  • Lack of PE provision in year 11.
     

While the Ofsted report also acknowledges the actions being taken by governors and the interim Headteacher to address these issues, it also notes that:

  • The necessary changes are not being made quickly enough;

  • The governing body should continue to seek ways to communicate effectively with all stakeholders.

 

As the school has been judged ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted, its future will be decided by the Schools Minister on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education. It is likely that the Minister will require the school to join a strong academy trust that has been assessed as having the capacity to bring about rapid improvement at the school, enhance standards and achieve sustainable change and a positive long-term impact.

School leaders and governors continue to work together to address the main recommendations of the report, and you will be glad to learn that much work has already been undertaken to update and communicate behavioural expectations, prioritise recruitment of additional school leaders, and provide external leadership support for the school.​"

We have the following comments:

 

* The "experts" on the BoG, including Roy Blatchford, Ofsted inspector, have had since September to resolve the leadership issues and find an effective head teacher. Why didn't they?

** Colin Hall had made a decision to stop this during the lockdowns but was forced to continue with them by the parent governors at the time. This year the school had made the decision already not to continue with early GCSEs, but the Ofsted inspectors decided to include this as one of their reasons the school was "Inadequate" even though early GCSEs were done at the time they called the school Outstanding. Does this make sense to you?

10 Jun - RSC send HPS a letter threatening to terminate the DfE funding of the school.

13 Jun - School send out following from Melanie Juno Wolfe regarding the 5th Anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy:

 

"Dear Holland Park School Families,

We are all aware of the impact the Grenfell Tower fire has had on some of our children. Either by seeing the fire, losing someone or missing their school friends or neighbours lost to the fire. 

This evening we are having a quiet remembrance for our children and youth to come and reflect, write a note and think of those no longer with us. 

This is in many ways a historical event. Many people from the area attended Holland Park School themselves. To have a presence and be included is a powerful message for our children and community. 

Many laws will be changed because of the fire. Laws that will ensure fire safety for future generations. This includes public buildings such as schools and hospitals. 

Please join us this evening at 5pm. We have hearts to write messages on for our wishing tree, and green lights for our children to light. 

There will be refreshments. 

Hoping to build on today by joining Holland Park School with our fellow schools and community moving forward. 

 

All are welcome. 

M.J.Wolfe of North Kensington Community Kitchen

Tel: 07798 623 923"

15 Jun - NEU teacher strike.

15 Jun - Email to parents from Arwel Jones as follows:

 

"Dear Parents/Carers,

You will recall that the school’s new Chair of Governors Mr Vic Daniels indicated in his letter dated 10 June 2022 that he would like to invite you to a two-hour general meeting later this month.

At the meeting Mr Daniels will be happy to discuss the school’s recent Ofsted report and its implications for the school.

I can confirm that the meeting will be for a maximum of 150 parents/carers and will take place in the school assembly hall on Monday 27th June 2022 at 18:00.

If you would like to attend please register using the following link:    https://forms.gle/8nS64K7R2xg9sDTn8

 Should you wish to submit any questions ahead of the meeting on Monday 27thJune, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on info@HPS-stakeholders.co.uk.

Questions can also be asked on the night, so there is no requirement to submit these to us ahead of time.

A reminder that the meeting is limited to 150 parents/carers and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Mr Daniels and I look forward to meeting you on 27th June.

Kind regards,

Arwel Jones (Interim Headteacher)"

16 Jun - Within 24 hours 317 HPS parents sign a letter to RSC, Dame Kate Detheridge.

17 Jun - RSC, Dame Dethridge, has meeting to prepare thoughts to put forward to Baroness Diana Barron, Schools Minister.

17 Jun - Ofsted publish Inadequate Report re HPS on their website 

17 Jun - Email from school with letter from Vic Daniels about the process which is followed when an academy is judged inadequate by Ofsted.

17 Jun - Emails from Arwel Jones to parents:

"Dear Parent & Carers,

 Thank you for your response regarding the meeting with Vic Daniels, Chair of Governors, on Monday 27th June at 6pm to discuss the recent Ofsted report. 

Due to the popularity of the event, we are going to increase the size of the event.  If you wish to attend and have not yet booked in please do so by Monday 20th June when the booking site will close. If the evening is oversubscribed, we will arrange a second meeting.

Please use the following link to book:

 https://forms.gle/97TJxJ4Fe8edEria9

A reminder that if you have any questions you can submit these ahead of the meeting using the following email address: info@HPS-stakeholders.co.uk

Please submit email questions by 12:00 on Thursday 23rd June and questions can also be asked on the night. 

 Yours faithfully,

Arwel Jones

Interim Head"

"Dear Parents/Carers,

 I write to inform you that the National Education Union (NEU) have indicated that they intend to continue their strike action on Tuesday 21st June and Wednesday 22nd June.

 

Unless the NEU inform us otherwise, the school will therefore be closed for all students apart from those taking GCSE and GCE examinations on both days.

 

The school continues  to meet with our NEU representatives and hope that the industrial action will end soon.

 

 Yours faithfully,

 

 Arwel Jones 

Interim Head "

21 & 22 Jun - NEU teacher strike. On the 21 Jun teachers, parents and students march from Holland Park School to Westminster to deliver letters to Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education, in person. Parents hand deliver copy of letter to Dame Kate Dethridge, signed by 316 parents in 24 hours, to Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education.

21 Jun - HPSPC Ltd send Pre-Action Letter to Ofsted. Ofsted have 14 days to respond, before Judicial Review is served.

22 June - Scheduled meeting of the Advisory Board to the Regional Schools Commissioner for North West London & South Central England, where RSC handed three primary schools in Hammersmith & Fulham over to United Learning Trust (now they have 92 schools).

21, 22 & 23 Jun - Train strikes affecting transport throughout London.

23 Jun - RBKC Labour Councillors put out a letter confirming the Full RBKC Council agreed unanimously to support the KAA/ HPS MAT.

28 & 29 Jun - RSC sends generic responses to Holland Park parents' letter including a letter signed by more than 316 Holland Park parents. The letters suggest she has yet to decide and yet two days later we get a written decision from her that UL is getting HPS. More evidence of DfE not bothering to read parent letters!

28, 29 & 30 Jun - 10, 11 & 12th day of Teacher strikes - "Silence of the Teachers" - teachers are astounded no-one is bothering to talk to them, no-one is listening. Have teachers' opinions and concerns become irrelevant? Below are the 10 reasons they were still striking.

1 Jul - RBKC agree to set aside a £1million loan for use in supporting the KAA/ HPS MAT.

1 Jul (Friday) - Letter from RSC to Parents informing us of her decision to go ahead with recommending United Learning takeover our school. HPS become their 93rd school.

4 Jul - Letter to parents re meeting with Vic Daniels - this meeting was moved a second time, this time to 6 Jul, but today we received notification that it had been cancelled in lieu of a meeting in September.

5 Jul - Teacher Appreciation Picnic for current parents, teachers and staff in Holland Park was held from 4pm onwards. We all had a lot of fun and a number of the kids made new friends while parents got to meet each other, many for the first time. 
This has not been organised under the HPSPC banner - all welcome.

5 Jul - With the resignation of Rishi Sunk, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education, is made Chancellor and Michelle Donelan MP is made Secretary of State for Education.

6 Jul - Catherine Faulks of RBKC brings a paper to th eRBKC Leadership to formally approve the £1million loan to KAA for creating a MAT with HPS.

7 Jul - Meeting with United Learning in order to meet the requirements of the RSC before the meeting with her advisory board on 21st July. Details in letter above from ViC Daniels on 4th July.

8 Jul - End of school term.

UPCOMING DURING THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

21 Jul - RSC, now called Regional Director South East RE.SE, meets with advisory board (AB) to confirm UL takeover of HPS.

Mid-August - A-level results come out

25th Aug - GCSE results are emailed to students