Four Nottinghamshire secondary schools have been named amongst the worst in the country, according to Ofsted. There are around 63 primary schools currently rated as inadequate by Ofsted across England, with four of them in Nottinghamshire.
Each week Ofsted carries out hundreds of regulatory visits throughout England to ensure schools are of a high standard. Ofsted’s grading system evaluates schools on Quality of education, Behavior and attitudes, Personal development, Leadership and management.
Kirkby College on Tennyson Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, was inspected by Ofsted in November 2021 and rated inadequate. The college is a mixed secondary comprehensive for children aged 11-16 and has around 425 pupils on its roll.
The education watchdog said that pupils told inspectors they felt ‘unsafe’ and had little confidence in how bullying was tackled. The scathing report found that all areas, including the quality of education, behavior and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management were ‘inadequate’.
Because of the behavior of some pupils in the school, some pupils told inspectors they felt ‘unsafe’ and ‘uncomfortable’. Mark Golden, Headteacher, said: “We are aware of the challenges we face and we are doing what we can to rectify them, making sure our students get the best education possible. We are currently in the process of joining Outwood Grange Academies Trust, and we are working with members of the Outwood Family to get in place policies and structures that will give us the best opportunity to improve.
“This is a very exciting development for us at Kirkby College, and a major step forward. We believe that with the expertise within the Outwood Family, we will be well-placed to make quick improvements to the school, which can only be good news for our students and school community. “
Harlow Academy, on Nottingham Road, Mansfield, was inspected by Ofsted in January and also rated inadequate. Children at the special school were put at a ‘risk of harm’ and some were neglected due to a lack of staff, according to the watchdog’s damning report.
Ofsted also found Harlow Academy, in Mansfield, did not meet pupils’ basic care needs when inspectors visited on January 18, 19 and 20. The former Fountaindale School in Harlow Wood was given an inadequate report in each of the six ‘overall effectiveness’ assessments , which includes leadership and management and quality of education. Part of the assessment stated that some children are not currently attending the school because parents fear for their safety.
A spokesperson for the Academy, said: “As an Academy we take our duty of care extremely seriously, which is why, following our recent Ofsted inspection, we worked closely with our pupils, parents, carers, staff and the wider community to take immediate action to address areas for improvement.
“Changes already made include appointing new leadership – both an Interim CEO of our Trust and an Executive Headteacher at the Academy – who are working closely alongside colleagues, parents and carers to ensure the best educational and care environment possible.
“We are also pleased to share that from September 2022, the Academy will officially join Nexus Multi Academy Trust, a trust specializing in special educational needs provisions. Nexus has been a key part of the team supporting our Academy since the Ofsted inspection, which means we will retain our Academy’s new leadership team and the positive momentum we have already gained in order to give our pupils the best possible start in life. “
Hall Park Academy on Mansfield Road, Eastwood was inspected in December 2019 and rated inadequate. The inspection rated all aspects of the school good apart apart from leadership and management, which was found to be inadequate, but it was rated inadequate overall.
Ofsted said the school had “let down some pupils who attend alternative provision” at the time of inspection. The report found that leaders removed some of these pupils from the school’s roll without good reason.
They also found that staff had not always communicated clearly with parents and carers when taking a pupil off roll. Inspectors asked leaders to show how the movement of some pupils from the school to the alternative provision was in the pupils’ best interests, but leaders “did not have convincing explanations as to why pupils had been removed from the roll” according to the regulator.
A Ofsted monitoring visit in July 2021 found that leaders had “successfully tackled the areas that were judged to be weak at the previous inspection”. The arrangements for pupils who attend alternative provision are secure and the improvements they have made mean that safeguarding is now effective, according to the watchdog.
However, according to the report inspectors found significant weaknesses in the quality of the provision for pupils with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND). Hall Park Academy was contacted for comment.
Sutton Community Academy on High Pavement, Sutton-in-Ashfield was inspected in March 2019 and rated inadequate. The college is a secondary comprehensive for children aged 11-18 and has around 668 pupils on its roll. It was found to be inadequate in two out of the five Ofsted categories.
The report found the proportion of disadvantaged pupils who were persistently absent from school was above the national average. And some pupils told inspectors that bullying was not resolved well.
Examiners also reported the quality of teaching, learning and assessment was inconsistent. It was also said some parents did not feel that their concerns were responded to quickly enough, or to their satisfaction.
A Ofsted monitoring visit in March 2021 found that leaders were “taking effective action to provide education in the current circumstances”. The report concluded the school’s safeguarding culture had improved significantly since the previous monitoring inspection.
The trust acted quickly to rectify previous weaknesses and leaders are now knowledgeable about safeguarding practices and procedures, according to inspectors. Sutton Community Academy was contacted for comment.