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Complainant Name:
Mrs Maureen Smith

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Daily Telegraph


Mrs Maureen Smith complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had falsely claimed that Devonport High School for Girls had been near the bottom of the league table in 2005, and that it gave a misleading impression that the school had been in need of rescuing.


The complaint was resolved the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter as an addendum to the online article:

Dear Sir,

I was disappointed by the tone of the article, particularly in that no reference was made to the status of the school when Ms Hill took up her appointment in January 2006. OFSTED had inspected the school in November 2005, six weeks earlier, and made a judgement that "it was a good school with many outstanding features." Overall, "teaching was good" and the Sixth Form was judged "outstanding".

In 2004 D.H.S.G. had become a Specialist Language College and since 2001 had been a Leading Edge school. Two members of staff in those five years had reached the Finals of the National Teaching Awards.

The school had always enjoyed a good reputation and it was surprising to see that this was not reflected in the article.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Maureen Smith (Head teacher 2001-2005).

Date Published: 24/03/2011

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