The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against the organisation behind Beccles Free School.

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A complaint against The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust has been upheld and they have been warned not to make exaggerated claims as to the extent of their headteacher’s previous roles and the outcome of an Ofsted pre-registration inspection.

The Trust, which runs the school in Carlton Colville, has previously been told it could not claim to be “outstanding” by the ASA before it had even opened.

The complaint, from Suffolk Coalition Opposing Free Schools, relates to a leaflet for Beccles Free School which said heateacher John Lucas was “a former inspector and director of learning for Cambridgeshire”, and said “our Ofsted pre-opening inspection has taken place and we passed with flying colours”.

Mr Lucas had been a director of learning for 14- to 19-year-olds at a school in Cambridgeshire and spent three years as a general inspector with the Cambridgeshire Standards and Effectiveness team, and the Trust said the wording had intended to indicate the breadth of his experience.

However, the ASA considered it was an exaggerated claim and therefore misleading.

The complaint regarding the Ofsted claim was upheld as the inspection did not include checks on the proposed curriculum or expected educational standards of the school, and “passed with flying colours” exaggerated the judging which was either “likely to meet” or “not likely to meet” a variety of criteria.

The ASA ruled that the advert must not appear again in that form.

A spokesman for the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust said: “We have received the response from the ASA and will make the necessary changes to our literature.

“We are pleased that despite the long programme of opposition to the Beccles Free School the numbers continue to grow and this term we have 111 on our school roll.”

The school opened in September, despite a campaign against it, with a register of 68 pupils in years 7, 8 and 9.

14 comments

  • A crack in the veneer of Seckford smugness? JB if you have something to tell re Mr L perhaps the Journal could investigate...?

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    Dogberry

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Now's their chance...but won't hold my breath...

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    Dogberry

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • A gross exaggeration! It was very cloudy when he departed Thetford in such a hurry!

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    Jacob Burns

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • I would urge caution over passing judgement on the school in Wisbech ("the 16th worst in the country") which operates in difficult circumstances. Indices of Multiple Deprivation measure relative deprivation across small areas of England called Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs). In 2010 it was reported that three LSOAs in Cambridgeshire fall within the most deprived 10% of areas in England. All three are in Wisbech. This is the same as in 2007.

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    point du jour

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • http:www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk201301asa-censures-seckford-over-second-misleading-ad

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    Dogberry

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • Have a look at localschoolsnetwork for more info re the ASA report...

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    Dogberry

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • @Dogberry - Well I suppose it could, but investigative journalism isn't really their forte is it?

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    point du jour

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Jacob Burns is alluding to the fact that John Lucas was Headteacher of Rosemary Musker High School when it was in special measures. After he left, it was closed and Thetford Academy opened on the same site. Seckford spin this disaster on the Beccles Free School website as "leading one (school) to its best ever results".

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    James

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • Ah, the conspirators continue to plot the demise of the Seckford Foundation's Free Schools into oblivion! Get real will you? Try spending more useful time rallying support at making your challenging Headmasters answer for their HORRENDOUS results their academies are churning out year, after year, after year. Remember, their funding is the same as Free schools but because they are PROFIT and not PARENT driven, you will only see large class sizes to protect that all important profit...... also, Dogberry, the previous post regarding the 2 percent results was correct. Up until this year, you could have had a student sit a maths or English Func Skill Key Skill or (worse of them all) an ALAN paper and claim the child got an equivilent GCSE. Mr Gove has bravely and formally stopped schools getting away with cheap and nasty equivilent GCSE's. Yes, those quals have their place but not when liberally used as Ersazt instead! I also think you people may want to go carefully before you start slandering people on here.....they are unlikely to be able to defend themselves ...... and it will put your actions as low as say, a headmaster who has the habit of posting outrageous tweets that one day catch the eye of Queen's Council who tell him to shut up......allegedly of course....

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    damon7

    Monday, January 14, 2013

  • If the information at localschoolsnetwork regarding JL's cv is correct, then the blatant dishonesty is astonishing - and would normally lead to dismissal. It is difficult to understand how Seckford thought they would get away with it when such things can be easily verified by almost anyone. We are, as yet, no wiser about Jacob Burns' "Thetford" reference - unless I have missed something?

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    point du jour

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • pdj...good points...but regardless of how goodpoor those figures were, they are only a subtext to the main issue...there's an odour of bull***t from Seckford re their appointment...wonder if a close look should be taken at other staff?

    Report this comment

    Dogberry

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • Looks like a rant...apologies but I am truly Disgusted of Lowestoft!!!

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    Dogberry

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • I have posted a link to the report but it may be edited out...easily found and really is quite damning!

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    Dogberry

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

  • Having researched matters a little further it would appear that he was Director of Learning at the worst performing Secondary School in Cambridgeshire...and the 16th worst in the country. Come on LJ...this is IMPORTANT...this is public money that Seckford have acquired based on misinformation!

    Report this comment

    Dogberry

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

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