Council leader reiterates public has ‘right to know’ Norfolk school risk ratings, despite his authority’s attempts to block release

Cliff Jordan

Cliff Jordan - Credit: Submitted

The leader of Norfolk County Council has reiterated he believes the public has a 'right to know' how the authority rates the county's schools - even though his own council is trying to overturn a decision ruling the information should be released.

For three years, the county council has assessed future risks to all schools and academies that could stop them receiving the 'good' judgement from Ofsted.

The system places them in three broad categories - causing concern, requiring improvement, or a potential system leader - and in its assessment at the start of this academic year, 72 fell into the bottom category, 119 in the middle, and 231 in the top.

However, the council has refused to say which school is in which band.

In November, it turned down an EDP Freedom of Information request asking for the information, and a month later rejected an appeal, arguing it would make it less likely schools would share data with it, damaging its work to support education in the county.

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The EDP appealed to the information commissioner, who said the council should release the information. However, council solicitors have launched an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal in an attempt to overturn the decision.

When he was in opposition and the council turned down the initial request, Cliff Jordan said: 'Parents up and down our county have a right to know whether their local school is in good shape or not. Sadly, this is typical of the secret-squirrel tactics employed by the current council leadership.'

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Former council leader, Labour's George Nobbs, this week challenged Mr Jordan, now the council's Conservative leader, over whether it was now him employing 'secret-squirrel tactics' or whether he had been wrong to make that claim against the former administration.

Mr Jordan replied: 'I was not wrong. I meant it at the time and I still think the public has a right to know.'

• Do you have a schools story? Call education correspondent Martin George on 01603 772468 or email

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