December 7 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 18, 2013
The interim principal of a Muslim free school at the centre of national controversy about equality between the sexes had previously led a Norfolk secondary school when it was forced into special measures.
Stuart Wilson was principal of Costessey High School when it went into special measures in November 1999, and left in the summer term.
Costessey High closed a decade later, and has been replaced by Ormiston Victory Academy, which Ofsted rated “outstanding” in June.
Last month, Dr Wilson was appointed interim head of the Al-Madinah school, Derby, which Ofsted yesterday rated “inadequate”.
The school has come in for criticism following claims it discriminated against women, required staff to cover their hair even if they were not Muslim, and made girls sit at the back of the classroom.
Dr Wilson yesterday said: “Any school that faces special measures, as we clearly now do, has got its fair share of problems. I accept we have a whole range of problems.
“Some of those are things we can fix in the short term quite quickly. Some of them are longer-term in terms of the longer-term progress for students, teaching and learning.”
In May, Dr Wilson left his previous job as principal of Rawmarsh School, Rotherham, which Ofsted judged “inadequate” in April.
The report said: “The considerable amount of time the headteacher and governors have spent on eradicating a large budget deficit has distracted them from addressing the areas for improvement identified at the last inspection.”
That school hit the headlines in 2006 – before Dr Wilson became headteacher – when parents pushed chips through the railings to their children following a healthy school meals campaign linked to Jamie Oliver.