Governors’ fury at Ofsted blast

Pictures Martin Bostock.' St Stephens on the Cliff Church Flower festival.'Jimmy Armfield with Canon Andrew Sage.

Pictures Martin Bostock.' St Stephens on the Cliff Church Flower festival.'Jimmy Armfield with Canon Andrew Sage.

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GOVERNORS brought in to oversee a failing school today hit out at an inspection which branded them “ineffective”.

But they admitted they have a “big challenge” ahead to turn the school around.

Bispham High School has been placed in special measures by Ofsted inspectors who labelled it “inadequate” following an inspection in January.

The school’s board of 12 governors were deemed to be “unaware” of parts of the school in the report released by the inspectorate.

Now some of the governors have spoken out, claiming had more of them been quizzed by the inspectors and for longer they would have been able to prove their worth.

Canon Andrew Sage, a community governor and vice-chairman for the school, said four of the 12 governors only entered their posts in September 2012, meaning they had only a few months to catch up on the school’s performance and policies.

It was these four who were interviewed by inspectors on January 23 and 24, he said.

He added: “We had just over 10 minutes with them which we didn’t feel was very good but that’s not an excuse, we know there are big challenges and we know we have a lot to take on.

“It takes a while to get hold of where a school is, it’s one thing to look at figures but it’s another to get into classrooms.”

The Ofsted report said: “Many of the governing body are new and, although they have received some training, it has not enabled them to properly fulfil their role.”

Coun Chris Ryan, councillor for Greenlands ward and a school governor, said: “What Canon Sage says is a fair comment.

“When it comes down to it the school’s got to improve.”

Canon Sage said better support from the local authority might have helped the governors to take control of the school.

The report added: “The governing body does not have the skills necessary to ask searching questions of the headteacher.”