Governors Call Special Parents’ Meeting As Five Islands School Rated Inadequate By Ofsted

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Teaching and leadership at Scilly’s Five Islands School is ‘inadequate’ according to the latest Ofsted inspection report, published today.

That’s the lowest grading that inspectors can give and a step down from the previous ‘requires improvement’ rating given in 2014.

And the Chief Inspector says the school now requires “special measures” to be put in place, “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.”

Inspectors said a, “lack of skilled leadership, the long-term absence of key staff, difficulties in recruitment and an over-reliance on external support” have contributed to the “sharp decline.”

And they said that view is echoed by parents – almost 60% who responded to Ofsted’s online questionnaire, Parent View, have concerns about the quality of leadership at the school.

Ofsted says recent challenge and support from the local authority and governors have come too late to improve the school’s shortcomings.

“Leaders do not have the knowledge, skills and experience to tackle the weaknesses at the school,” said the inspectors.

The standard of teaching was also questioned.

Ofsted said, “Since the previous inspection, teaching has not been strong enough to halt a slowing in pupils’ rates of progress in key stages 2 and 3, and in subjects other than English and mathematics at key stage 4. Consequently, too few current pupils are making the progress of which they are capable.”

The teaching of modern languages was highlighted, with some key stage 3 pupils being unable to count beyond 10, or say their age, in French.

Inspectors said that both children with special needs, and those with higher ability, were not receiving the encouragement and monitoring required to achieve a higher level.

However, some positive examples of good teaching were identified, particularly in early years and secondary maths and English.

Ofsted felt that while most pupils behave well, a few lessons are disturbed by misbehaviour, especially in key stages 2 and 3.

They said pupils’ reliance on the presence of adults limits both their personal development and academic achievement and that behaviour needs to improve.

The governance of the Mundesley Boarding House was also criticised.

Ofsted said, “Governors have failed to oversee the arrangements for effective leadership at Mundesley Boarding House. Weaknesses identified at the previous inspection have not been fully addressed, including those relating to fire safety.”

Headteacher, Linda Todd, said: “We recognise that the outcome of the report will come as a great disappointment to our parents and carers, pupils, staff and governors.

“We share this disappointment and are committed to working with the whole school community and our partners to address the issues identified by the inspectors and move the school forward as quickly as possible. We accept the findings of the report in full and are already drawing up an action plan to implement all the recommendations made by the Inspectors.”

Aisling Hick, Senior Manager for Community Services a the Council of the Isles of Scilly, added, “We are doing everything we can to support the school to improve rapidly and work on developing an action plan is already underway.

“Appropriate support and additional resource is being provided to the school to help them address the key issues identified by Inspectors. The school is responding positively to this support and everyone is committed to securing rapid and sustainable improvements for the children and their families.”

Chair of Governors Ben Julian said he would be calling a special meeting on the 28th November for parents to discuss the report.

Mr Julian said: “We recognise that this is a time of concern for all connected with the school. The Governing Body will be working rapidly to improve its effectiveness and ensure that all the issues identified in the report are addressed. Our aim is to ensure that we provide the highest quality of education and care for all our children and we are confident that we will achieve this.”

Scilly’s Council is now being helped by Cornwall Council to tackle the failings at the school.

Trisha Hewitt, the Corporate Communications Manager for Cornwall Council told ScillyToday: “The issues identified in the report are being addressed in the improvement plan currently being developed by staff and Governors in conjunction with the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the Diocese of Truro. Additional support is also being provided by members of Cornwall Council’s School Effectiveness Team.”

You can read the report here.



9 Responses to Governors Call Special Parents’ Meeting As Five Islands School Rated Inadequate By Ofsted

  1. Coop lurker November 30, 2016 at 10:54 am

    The Council is not responsible for the school. I can’t really put that any other way. It does have a role to ‘step-in’ when the school is in trouble, but the LA does not ‘manage’ the school in any recognisable way, nor should it, nor has it, nor will it. Ever.

    The school is a perfect example of what happens when you have too many cooks and not enough chefs. At this point in time, amid a horrible tory government, it’s more important than ever to think about everything you do, in detail, and get better at it. Protecting front line workers is a folly, you end up naval gazing.

    The whole focus of the islands has been on old people for too long, and now you can see the problems that arise from it. There’s a couple of hundred kids here who need help, and have their whole lives ahead of them and they’re being let down by the council, the school, and the community in general. We’re losing good people like the Garman’s because the facilities on the islands for children are poor compared to our weird fascination with providing gold-leafed services for old people, and getting rid of waste from the islands by sending it away. They are two huge piles of money, every year, you’ll never see tangible benefits from, ever. I genuinely preferred the Moorwell Alp to this.

    Craig’s tenure makes Neville’s reign seem like a golden age. Makes you wonder what the DLF do now, as they all used to scurry around on the dump all day trying to find a bargain, like Wombles.

    • A Carer December 1, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      It grieves me to read such bad news about education on the islands and I’ve every sympathy with the children and their parents, I’m sure that anyone with a kid at school knows where the blame lies.
      Don’t think for one moment, however, that elder care is perfect. Try getting some help to look after an elderly relative and you’ll soon discover that services available for the old are far from gold leafed.

  2. Adrian November 26, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Our Head Teacher mentions only only those who are directly linked to the school as being disappointed with this latest Ofsted Report. Education is central to any community but in our small and ‘vulnerable’ position it is more important than average, and we should all be concerened.
    This is not ther first time that that we have been told that the ‘Leaders do not have the knowledge,, experince and skills to tackle the weaknesses at the school’. Those that control the funding and carry the ultimate responsibility will surely now make changes to ensure ,as far as possible ,that this will not happen yet again.

    This announcement has prompted me to review the Ofsted Report web site. (under Five Islands School-Unique Reference Number 133554) and it is clear that ,in 2014, improvement was needed. but since then many children have been let down. It should be accepted that as a Leader, Teacher, Governor ,(and even a parent)’ the responsibility is great but surely the time has come to put that responsibility into more competent hands?

    I know that it is dangerous to ‘crow’ but history can teach us lessons—just look at the Ofsted Report dated as recently as 20th July2011 and you will see the word ‘Outstandind’ was used repeatedly when drawing conclusions on the teaching of leadership and citizenship, attributes which once were regarded as more important then even passing exams.
    We are payiung tha price for the events of 2012.

  3. Jonny Exile November 25, 2016 at 8:59 am

    What’s needed is a modern-day equivalent of the Augustus Smith era where education enabled unparalleled success for Scillonians. A school that gives local children a decent chance to bring skills and earning capacity to the islands or make a success of themselves on the mainland.

    What we’ve actually got is the utter and embarrassing shambles that Ofsted describe. And, get the sad irony of having someone like Amanda, who’s obviously very good at languages, leading the council while Key Stage 3 (11-14 year old) children can’t count to 10 in French. I always thought that these kind of people were meant to help people up the ‘ladder’ rather than pulling it up behind them!

    I appreciate that there’ll be whinging from the Left about transferring public assets but are there any valid reasons why the school shouldn’t become an academy?

    • Linguine November 25, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Good at languages but deficient and defective in oh so many other ways; under her underwhelming regime there is no appropriately qualified member of staff with the background knowledge and gravitas to interact with governors to alert, inform and when needed advise the school and the governing body how to engender improvement.
      No doubt the Linguist will wring her hands and blunder on, it’s not even as though she can blame a former chief executive, those days are long gone.
      As for transferring the assets it would probably protect the new school from the municipal vandalism that is being conducted at our expense at Carn Thomas.

      • Chemical Dolly November 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm

        The chair of governors needs to resign, it’s that simple. Go to academy status and keep the LEA out of it. Happy days.

      • Wispy Honey November 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        Linguine, stop blabbing on about how this is all the fault of chair of the council. You obviously have a personal dislike for her and this isn’t the place to vent your issue. The problem at the school lies with the ineffective governing body leadership.

        • Linguine December 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm

          “Local Education Authorities have a duty to promote high standards. What is emerging clearly is that successful Authorities- those that continually improve education standards, challenge and support poorly performing schools – have a chief education officer and senior management personally committed to raising standards and councillors with a firm commitment to education.”

    • Dee Saster November 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      No Jonny, I don’t believe that there any reasons to stop this school becoming an academy.
      The fewer things this Council is responsible for the better.