Serious questions have today been asked about the future of a Blackpool academy after it was slammed by school inspectors.
In a damning report, Ofsted rated South Shore Academy in St Annes Road, South Shore, as one of the most underperforming schools on the Fylde coast.
The May inspection called leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching and achievement of pupils as inadequate – the worst grading.
Worries were raised about teaching, safety and the poor behaviour of pupils - with one inspector adding the academy’s current curriculum does not prepare them properly for modern life in Britain.
The school, led by principal Jane Bailey, is now set to be put into special measures after the schools leaders, managers and governors failed to secure improvements.
Resort leaders say the report is a “wake up call” for education on the Fylde Coas
Inspectors did admit the school – part of the Bright Futures Education Trust – was starting to see improvements in Year 11 English, as well changes made to the most significant areas of concern by the principal.
But the school is now set to be put into special measures.
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden added: “I am very concerned, both for the families with students at the school and students themselves at this particularly strong Ofsted report which at the time of the inspection judged the academy as being inadequate in most of its categories.
“This should be a wake-up call to central government to make sure the model going forward is one of collaboration and working closely with the local community and not being dictated to by Whitehall.
In an eight page report, Ofsted inspectors raised concerns about ineffective leadership, inadequate teaching, low attendance in Year 11, disruption in lessons and the academy building not being fit for purpose.
But there was praise for an update to the academy’s safeguarding procedures, teaching in English, as well as students admitting the school is improving and they had had a better time since Miss Bailey was appointed.
Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski, CEO of Bright Futures Educational Trust, which owns the academy, added: “Although we were aware of the major challenges at South Shore Academy and unsurprised by the findings, the Bright Futures Educational Trust is disappointed for the school.
“However, we are pleased that the report recognises the measures being put in place to improve performance across the board.
“Ofsted acknowledged that the restructuring process already underway at the school is ongoing and, therefore, the measures implemented by the new senior leadership team have had insufficient time to make a significant impact before the inspection.
“The report highlights areas of concern already recognised and addressed by the Academy, and we are pleased to see that the inspecting team expressed confidence in the senior leadership team’s future plans for improvement. Supported by a dedicated and hard working staff, we look forward to seeing these plans coming to fruition.”
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