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Bullying and boredom uncovered at crisis-hit school
A CRISIS-HIT secondary school has been put in special measures after Ofsted inspectors uncovered a raft of problems including bullying and boredom.
The education watchdog today publishes its damning dossier on Futures Community College in Southchurch, and fears the new leadership team won’t be able to turn the school’s fortunes around.
Ofsted found pupil achievement, teaching quality, bullying, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management all to be inadequate, the lowest rating, after a visit last month.
In a damning report, lead inspector Lisa Fraser, said: “Typically, students make little progress because teachers have poor subject knowledge and do not have the skills needed to manage students’ behaviour effectively.
"Students are given too long to complete tasks and too often they become bored and distracted.”
Ms Fraser added: “Students said that bullying exists and not all of them feel safe in school.
"Some students feel there is a member of staff they can turn to if they are having problems, but many do not feel they have this support.
“Name-calling incidents are frequent because students do not have a good understanding of different types of bullying, including that based on homophobia.”
Southend Council appointed Stuart Reynolds as interim headteacher in November and replaced the governors with an interim executive board made up of education bigwigs in February after a string of inspections uncovered serious weaknesses at the school.
But Ofsted found the newboard had not yet put in place systems to improve pupils achievement and behaviour.
High-staff turnover is affecting the quality of pupils’ learning, with too many lessons taught by non-specialist and temporary teachers.
Earlier this month the Echo revealed 15 teachers have left since the new leadership came in and more than half the staff will have left by the summer.
The Inspectors called for an external review of governance at the school, including its use of extra funding to help pull up the performance of poorer performing pupils.
The inspectors acknowledged the interim board had begun to take “decisive” action over the school’s leadership as two new permanent deputy headteachers, a new head of English, a new head of mathematics and additional staff in the English, maths and science departments have been appointed.
A new teacher training programme has also been put in place and more lessons are being observed.
Jane Theadom, the council’s head of learning, who also sits on the interim board, said: “We are pleased that Ofsted inspectors have started to notice these improvements and have noted the calibre of leadership that is now in place, but it is still too soon for their impact to be fully recognised and we were aware of that before the recent inspection.
“However, we are still disappointed with the outcome of this latest inspection.
“The school’s new headteacher, Stuart Reynolds, has begun to make significant changes to boost the quality of education following the recent decision to install the interim exeuctive board in response to the problems and challenges facing the school.”
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