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Complainant Name:
Mrs Janet Downs

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Times


Mrs Janet Downs complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. She said that it was inaccurate to describe the school Oasis Isle of Sheppey as the "worst school in England", as its Ofsted grading had been "Requires Improvement" for the last 18 months. She said that the article inaccurately implied that the current head-teacher had been responsible for the school being upgraded by Ofsted, when this had happened during the previous head-teacher's tenure.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated a clarification which read:

"We have been asked to clarify a headline (July 5) describing the Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey as "the worst school in England". Before the present head took over in September 2013, successive inspections had raised serious concerns about the standard of education provided at the school, although the school had been upgraded from "Inadequate" to "Requires Improvement" in March 2013. As was clear from the accompanying article, however, our headline referred not to the school's official ranking but to an observation by Department for Education officials."

Date Published: 05/09/2014

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