Adjudication goes against Dean Hall & Oakdene
Oakdene & Dean Hall Schools are to closed and be replaced by the school that hardly anbody wants after Dr. Hilary Nicolle upheld the County Councils proposals.
Parents mood turned from disappointment to outrage as they read her lengthy determination report. The general feeling was that the decission had been made before the process started. The majority of objectors were neither consulted about or invited to the hearing held at Speech House and only reluctantly was the deadline extended to allowed hurried written submissions to be made.
The main gist of the determination was that Government Policy is to increase inclusion, reducing numbers at Special Schools will increase inclusion and should therefore be supported. Scant regard was given to parental views or educational quality. In contrast reports from LEA Officers which had been criticised by the councils own Scrutiny Committee were taken as evidence of the success of the SEN Development Plan. Even government reports now challenging this view were ignored.
This process has served to further to demonstrate the pointlessness of the Schools Organisation Committee. With both the Cabinet Members and the former Director of Education having votes there is no chance of an LEA decision being unamimously defeated. If objectors do not get a fair hearing from the supposedly independent Office of the Schools Adjudicator, the only purpose of the whole procedure is to distance government from unpopular decissions.