Under fire Christian school fights back on BBC Radio 4

A threatened Christian school has defended itself on BBC Radio 4, saying a critical Ofsted report “contradicts” clear evidence.

The Durham Free School is set to be closed after Education Secretary Nicky Morgan restated that its funding would be withdrawn.

However, the leader of the governors at the school, John Denning, said the Ofsted report which led to the funding decision “contradicts a whole raft of evidence”.

Plain wrong

He also addressed accusations of bullying at the school, saying pupils who had been targeted elsewhere are happy at The Durham Free School.

Answering questions on Friday’s Today programme, Denning said the school was taking legal advice.

He commented that parts of the schools’ watchdog’s critical report were “inaccurate” and “just plain wrong”.


The flagship BBC radio programme also heard from parents who praised the school, with one saying the school was a “lifeline” for her child.

Another noted statements in the Ofsted report that do not “stack up”, while a third commented that she was “devastated” at the school’s situation.

Earlier this week the school received a letter from the Department for Education confirming its closure.


The Christian school has challenged the legality of Nicky Morgan’s announcement to withdraw funding, saying that she has a “closed mind” on the matter.

More than 50 pupils have also written to the Education Secretary, making a heartfelt plea for her not to close the school.

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