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