Monday, 19 May 2008

Ofsted critical of Peers academy process

Academy Watch Press Release

OFSTED Report Critical of the Academy


An OFSTED Report that followed a monitoring visit at Peers School has found that only the professionalism of the current staff at the school has shielded the students from the turbulence caused by the Academy Plans.


The reports praises the staff at Peers for consolidating and improving on the progress already achieved since the school came out of Special Measures, but while reminding everybody that there is still some distance to go, it blames the Academy for throwing spanners in the works:


  1. first of all, “Plans for the development of the academy are at a relatively embryonic stage and are not as advanced as they need to be.” It is unclear on what grounds the Academy plan was approved, given that even at this late stage, with the Academy due to open is September, Ofsted defines the plan as “embryonic”;
  2. the fast-tracking of the plans have produced “staffing turbulence, since September, [which] has had a detrimental impact on the overall quality of teaching and learning.”
  3. students are bearing the brunt of the lack of clarity about the plans: “Guidance is good, on the whole, but the Year 11 students have been inadequately advised about their options for next year, partly because the academy's sixth-form options were unknown.”
  4. Unsurprisingly, the lack of plans has resulted in poor communication: “Students, staff and governors do not feel that they are well informed about the proposed changes and developments. Inevitable uncertainties have caused much anxiety amongst staff, many of whom perceive that their skills and experience are not valued or wanted by the academy, even when they have a right to transfer to the new school.”
  5. The sponsors don’t seem to have been prepared for the disruption they were causing: “Uncertainties about the academy and the future of individual staff have had an unsettling effect. Although morale has been low, the professionalism of the staff has meant that the students have not been unduly affected.”
  6. The lack of support at the so-called consultation stage is confirmed by the decreasing number of students: “The number on roll has declined since the last inspection. Applications for the academy are low, with just over 100 Year 7 students expected in September.”


For the full report see\\school\\123\\scc_123242_20080422.pdf