By Sheila Mckenzie
A Derbyshire school has been put in special measures after Ofsted condemned tensions within the school community which it said was adversely impacting pupils’ education.
Staff at the troubled Hasland Hall Community School in Chesterfield held three strikes last November to protest against unruly pupils and excessive workloads. Pupil behaviour at the school is notably bad, and bullying out of control.
Schools placed in special measures are subject to regular short-notice Ofsted or Estyn inspections to monitor its improvement. The senior managers and teaching staff can also be dismissed and the school governors replaced by an appointed executive committee.
An Ofsted inspection at the school a month earlier found “untenable tension across the school which is having an adverse effect on the quality of education, behaviour and school improvement”.
The Ofsted report also states the quality of education provided is “not good enough” and senior leaders have “not ensured that curriculum plans are aspirational”. Ofsted said the school is inadequate because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.
Almost one-third of parents said their children were not safe in school and pupils are not confident staff can deal with bullying concerns – while some staff said “they did not feel safe themselves”.
This poor behaviour is said to be “affecting pupils learning and achievement” and the inspector said leaders must work to establish “an ethos of respect and understanding”.
In a letter to parents, acting headteacher Steve Edmonds said the school was “deeply disappointed” with the judgement but recognised “the schools must change and improve”.
He said since the inspection an action plan has been developed to address changes in behaviour management and an audit of safeguarding procedures has been launched. On top of this, “anti-bullying policy and procedures have been amended in order to make the reporting process more robust”.
He asked that parents give “full support to the school during a time of uncertainty and public challenge” and that they don’t take to social media to air grievances with the school.
He added: “On a daily basis the staff, senior leaders and governor continue to do their very best for your children.”