Legal action by SOS Raines has Tower Hamlets Council on the back foot

Parents fighting the proposed closure of the Raines Foundation Secondary School have issued an update on their legal challenge against Tower Hamlets Council for their handling of the Raines issue.

It’s great news for Raines Foundation Secondary School pupils – and very bad news for Tower Hamlets Council.

Why are we not surprised?

Raines Foundation School open for all year groups

Raines Foundation School

The SOS Raines legal team are gathering more evidence and witness statements as it may be necessary to go to Judicial Review but for the moment as a result of the recent legal challenge in the High Court the Council has been ordered to make it clear that Raines Foundation Secondary School is open for all year groups.

In addition the court ordered the Council to write to the parents of all potential Year Seven pupils who were turned away for the September 2019 intake explaining this. SOS Raines say this might be between 70 – 100 pupils, not the 29 as originally estimated.

Tower Hamlets Council also has to write to the parents of all Year Nine pupils who were told that there would not a Year 10 group from September 2019 and inform them that there will be a Year 10 group from September 2019.

To date the Council has not written to parents of either Year Seven or Year Nine pupils and consequently the SOS Raines legal team are considering their next course of action.

School Adjudicators investigation

SOS Raines spokesperson Mickey Ambrose said that last week he rang the government’s Schools Adjudicator to discuss the actions of Tower Hamlets Council and they were not at all impressed by what they heard.

Seems the Council wanted to tell parents and carers (that’s you folks!) that there would not be any future Year Seven intake at Raines and so cutting the pipeline of pupils. This would effectively close the school down.

Mickey was told by the Schools Adjudicator that they had not granted the request for the Council to do this and still have not – they were only considering it and were taking their time because they thought it was a strange request.

As a result the Schools Adjudicator is now carrying out its own investigation into Tower Hamlets initial request.

Oops!

Department of Education investigation

The Schools Adjudicator investigation joins the current Department of Education investigation to see if Tower Hamlets Council has breached Statutory Process.

Raines Sixth Form Update

SOS Raines also want to make it clear to existing pupils that they can apply for the Raines Bursary and that the Raines Sixth Form will not be at the Lower building from September 2019 contrary to what they have been told.

Raines Foundation Interim Executive Board (IEB)

In the interests of ‘transparency and openness’ LW thought it might be interesting to see what the Interim Executive Board (IEB) of Raines Foundation secondary school have been getting up to so we submitted a Freedom of Information requests and you can download all ten documents we were sent here.

We have only had a very brief skim of the documents so if you have a proper read and find something of interest let us know.

By law these FoI responses should be available on the Council’s disclosure log but this log has never worked as far as we can remember – although the old one under Lutfur did work.

The responses may well be there (FoI Ref 16980997 if you are interested) but neither we or anyone else can find them. Which sort of defeats the point of the Freedom of Information Act really, dunnit?

LW Comment

Can you hear that rumbling sound in the distance? It’s the walls of Tower Hamlets Town Hall falling down.

Our entire editorial team was just starting to write two (yes – two!) positive stories about our dear borough when they were distracted by the more predictable clusterf**k stories. Sorry good news!

In Wapping many people are unhappy with the way the Bus Gate consultation was handled. (And please do not even mention the weekend lock-ins!)

In Bethnal Green parents of pupils at Raines Foundation Secondary are fuming that the Council may have ignored due process to try and close their school on the quiet.

LW has been sent copies of emails from Tower Hamlets Labour Party members who are so sick of the disregard and contempt shown by the current Labour administration for the very people it is supposed to represent that they have either resigned from the Labour Party or are allowing their membership to lapse.

Who needs Jeremy Corbyn to demolish the Labour Party when you have Mr Biggs? Pity he seems to be taking the borough with it.

Anyone got Lutfur Rahman’s number? And more importantly anyone know where he parked his Merc?