School’s Ofsted inspection was ‘about as bad as it gets’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 June 2016
The governors at a Worle school have been replaced after an Ofsted inspection found it to be ‘inadequate’ – an assessment Weston MP John Penrose said was ‘about as bad as it gets’.
Worle Community School’s governing body was criticised in the report, which said pupils did not feel safe, and students were not getting an ‘acceptable standard of education’.
Priory Community School principal Neville Coles has since been drafted in to lead the school’s improvement, and a raft of changes have been made in the short time since the report.
Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose this week reacted to Ofsted’s criticisms, and said the inspectors’ report had highlighted a number of areas where swift action was needed.
He said: “Overall, I’m afraid this report is about as bad as it gets.
“The headteacher and chair of governors have both left and, clearly, we need a steady hand to start turning things around as fast as possible.”
The governors have been replaced with an interim executive board – a body which is required once a school is placed in special measures.
The new board is made up of five members, chaired by Adele Haysom, a national leader of governance.
The rest will lead on a different area each, including leadership and management, quality of teaching and learning, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and pupil outcomes.
The board is expected to be in place until May 31, 2017.
There will be a new selection of governors in the future, in preparation for when the school becomes an academy.
The Mercury asked parents, guardians and grandparents who have a child at the school how they felt about Ofsted’s decision.
One person said: “I agree and it is only a positive thing for the school in the long run as they will be given a lot of help and support to bring it back to (and above) the standard required.”
Another parent said they felt the decision was ‘long overdue’.
But another said: “I think there has been a massive over-reaction to problems confined to a few students.”
One parent said they had many reasons to complain about issues this term, including the number of supply teachers, pupil behaviour and uniform policy.
They said: “I am glad my child is leaving this school soon, although I have every confidence that it will now improve under the leadership of Priory School.”
Mr Penrose said: “The good news is that senior staff from nearby Priory School, an academy that Ofsted recently ranked as ‘outstanding’, have agreed to come in to sort the problems out.
“I’ve already spoken to them about their plans, and I’m sure everyone, including the staff, pupils and their parents as well as the entire local community, will support them in whatever steps they need to take to get things moving in the right direction.”