A recent OFSTED inspection at Heanor Gate Science College, in nearby Derbyshire, has rated it ‘inadequate’ (the lowest grade) in three out of four categories, including quality of teaching and management. This means that the school, which became an academy in autumn 2011, has tumbled from the top rating, ‘outstanding’, to the lowest (‘inadequate’ overall) and placed in special measures in little more than two years.
Although everyone acknowledges that the OFSTED regime was toughened up in September 2012, such a spectacular decline indicates real problems. The school is a so-called ‘converter’ academy, meaning it opted to become one as a result of having been graded so highly, and is not a part of a ‘chain’. Had it remained with the local authority (Derbyshire) it would have received monitoring visits and problems as serious as this could have been identified and remedies sought earlier. A letter from the head and chair of governors suggests almost that this is an unfortunate coincidence of poor exam outcomes for key groups of children. That in itself wouldn’t explain such a low rating, however.
What happens now? In the case of a local authority school, the DfE ‘brokers’ would have already been in and the school could well have been forced down the academy route by January. However, this IS an academy so maybe they’ll get swept into the waiting arms of a local chain. Any suggestions?
Read the BBC report here: