Friday 3 May 2013

Battle likely at Copland following critical Ofsted report

Following Ofsted's designation of Copland High School as Grade 4 Inadequate and requiring special measures battle lines are being drawn over the possibility that the DfE will attempt to force the school to become an academy.

Unions representing teaching staff are overwhelming in favour of industrial action against any such move. School support  staff have still to reach a decision but they are the group of workers most likely to suffer a deterioration in conditions of service on academisation.

There are reports that Ark Schools, already running the Ark Academy in Wembley and negotiating to take over Kensal Rise Primary, have their eyes on Copland which is the last remaining secondary school in Brent which is neither an academy or faith school. 

Copland governors are unlikely to favour Ark as a sponsor.

The views of parents are mentioned but only 11 parents completed the on-line Parent View and there are 1,487 pupils in the school.

The report LINK gives an Inadequate grade to achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership  and management and a Requires Improvement grade to behaviour and safety of pupils. In summary it states:
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.
Ofsted acknowledge the difficulties the school has been through following the allegations of financial mismanagement against the previous headteacher, deputy head and other staff and terms it 'an extraordinary turbulence in leadership.'
Significant weaknesses in the quality of senior and middle management remain. A number of senior staff, subject leaders and pastoral managers are currently absent or subject to capability.
Other background factors have not helped the school including the scandal of its poor buildings:
The building remains in very poor condition. This was also reported in the 2006, 2009 and 2010 inspection reports. Some classrooms provide a completely unacceptable environment in which to teach and learn. The budget deficit has been reduced significantly over the past two years, but still stands at around £1 million. The reduction in student numbers has meant that further budget cuts are necessary. The building and the budget are adversely affecting the school’s capacity to provide an adequate education for students.
Significantly, apart from eliminating the budget deficit and action on the  building, the role of the local authority is scarcely mentioned.The local authority's response to the Ofsted report and any support and improvement plan it puts into place will be of vital importance in resisting forced academy status


Anonymous said...

Poor buildings yes but maybe the staff could have made an effort to make their classrooms more attractive, welcoming and stimulating. It might not have gone amiss if they had not organised a days strike thereby demonstrating their 'concern' for the education of our children. They deserve everything they get.

Anonymous said...

after censorship you mean