Monday 16 September 2013

Crest Boys' Academy fails Ofsted Inspection and goes into 'Special Measures'

Crest Boys' Academy in Neasden, Brent,  has been put into 'special measures' after being judged 'Inadequate' on all 4 aspects of their June Ofsted inspection: Achievement of Pupils, Quality of Teaching, Behaviour and Safety of Pupils and Leadership and Management.

After a poor Ofsted, Copland Community School is being forced to become an academy. Crest Boys' is already a sponsored academy led by the E-Act chain and has failed despite this status. It has to remain an academy under current law but there may be a possibility of a transfer to another academy chain. Clearly this is a challenge those who make claims for the superiority of academies..

Because Crest is run by an academy chain Brent Council has no direct right to intervene. E-Act is barely mentioned in the Ofsted report but the DfE must surely look at its capacity to support improvement at the school.

The schools decision to seek academy status occurred under the Labour government and was done in order to secure new buildings which are nearing completion.

The situation is further complicated by an approved proposal to open a secondary free school, named Gladstone after the nearby park, in the area. It will offer 120 Year 7 places from September 2014.

On Leadership and Management the report said:
 Leadership and management are inadequate because the academy is not improving quickly enough. Since the previous inspection, actions taken by leaders and governors to check the progress of different student groups, tackle weaknesses in teaching and behaviour, and to develop the skills of subject leaders have not had enough impact...
Although the Executive Principal and recently appointed senior leaders have a clear agenda for change, improvement since the previous inspection has been too slow. Some leaders lack the skills needed to drive forward rapid improvement and improve teaching. Recently appointed senior leaders have had to take over the leadership and teaching of some subjects, which has placed heavy demands on their time.

 Frequent changes to staffing this year have made it difficult for new systems designed to improve teaching and behaviour to become fully established and to make a difference to students’ learning. This has prevented leaders and managers from promoting equality of opportunity adequately enough.

Until recently the academy’s monitoring of teaching was too generous and teachers’ performance was not checked thoroughly by leaders and governors. Teachers and leaders are now set challenging targets, linked to students’ progress, which they have to meet before they move up the pay scales.
It makes the following comment on the Governing Body
A restructured governing body has been in place since January 2013. The previous governing body did not check how targets were set to challenge and reward teachers, and was not aware whether additional money for students eligible for extra support was spent appropriately. Current governors understand that improvement has been too slow in the past and agree that aspects of the academy’s work are inadequate. They are not satisfied with the academy’s results and are already challenging decisions to make sure that they are focused on raising achievement and made in the best interests of students. Governors fulfil their statutory responsibilities for safeguarding.
 Ofsted will be making regular visits to the school to ensure that improvements are made.

The Crest Girls' Academy, also run by E-Act was  found Inadequate overall  based on an Inadequate judgement for Achieve of Pupils.  Leadership and Management were judged  and Quality of Teaching  Requiring Improvement.  Behaviour and Safety of the girls was judged Good. 

 Achievement was judged inadequate because of insufficient progress of AS students in the 6th Form which is shared with the Boys' Academy and too few gain qualifications at the end of their programmes of study.


Pete Firmin said...

If failing LA schools have to become Academies, shouldn't failing Academies have to become LA schools?

Anonymous said...

thats bad