Government inspector says seaside schools failing pupils most
PUPILS in seaside schools are now lagging behind their inner city counterparts, the Government’s chief schools inspector has warned.
The revelation comes just two weeks after St Ives School and Pendeen Primary School were both put into special measures after highly critical Ofsted reports.
Ofsted’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has now said that top teachers should be sent into rescue failing seaside and rural schools.
These teachers should be contracted by the Government to “parachute” into schools in trouble.
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His call mirrors almost exactly the situation revealed by The Cornishman the week before last when Cornwall Council sent trouble shooter Richard Schofield, previously of Brannel School in St Austell, into St Ives School.
He was tasked with taking over from current head Jenny Veal, who had only been in post six months, to lead the school out of special measures after Ofsted said it was failing its students academically.
A new report published by Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw today – entitled Access and Achievement – shows inner city areas had been replaced by deprived seaside and countryside towns as the ones most likely to be failing their children.
Schools in these areas that fail should be handed over to “national service teachers”, according to Sir Michael.
He said: “We’re calling these teachers "national service teachers". These would be a tranche of teachers identified – not newly-qualified teachers - people who are working in schools that we know to be good teachers.
“We’re suggesting to government that they contract with government and are then directed to these schools where children are failing.”
Ofsted said it found “serious weaknesses” at St Ives School, which has 700 pupils.
“This school requires special measures 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," the Ofsted report said.
Head Jenny Veal told pupils and parents: "Inspectors recognised the excellent pastoral care, the strong relationships and also the very good behaviour.
"We fully accept that there are improvements to be made with particular regard to teaching and learning.”
Pupils' achievement, teaching, leadership and management at Pendeen Primary School were all branded inadequate by the Ofsted inspector, and children's behaviour and safety was said to require improvement.
The report detailed problems such as inaccurate managerial judgement, low expectations and work that didn't interest pupils, which in turn contributed to special measures being imposed.
Staff and governors at Pendeen have pledged to raise standards and address the problems highlighted, and insisted doubts over their commitment to pupils' learning should be laid to rest.
"The staff and governors are fully committed to ensuring that the children make faster progress," said head teacher Maureen Nicholls.