St Ives School placed in special measures
FAILURES in teaching, pupil achievement and leadership have seen St Ives School put into special measures after a damning Ofsted report.
Labelled as inadequate, the findings come with the recently appointed head teacher replaced by a troubleshooter.
The town's only secondary school, which has 700 pupils, will have a new interim head teacher from next month after inspectors found "serious weaknesses".
"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," read the Ofsted report.
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It went on to say average students fail to make enough progress, teaching is not effective and lessons fail to inspire but it added that the new head teacher and governing body were working well together and had established clear priorities for improvement.
The report also praised the strong relationships staff have with students.
Current head Jenny Veal, a well-respected teacher, has only been in the post for six months. She will now work as deputy – her original position – under the new regime.
Mrs Veal was appointed after former head David Harris left in the middle of the academic year, in December last year, after 21 years at the school. Richard Schofield, current head at Brannel School, near St Austell, is to take over next month.
Parents of pupils at the school were informed of the move late last week in a letter from David Griffin, chairman of governors, and Trevor Doughty, Cornwall Council's director of children's services.
It said: "The report following the recent Ofsted inspection of St Ives School has now been published. It points to a number of significant weaknesses at the school and the inspectors have indicated that special measures must be taken to secure the necessary improvements.
"In order to put things right as soon as possible, we have asked Richard Schofield to take charge as interim executive head teacher. Mrs Veal will continue her work as first deputy to Mr Schofield.
"Mr Schofield has considerable experience in leading schools in difficulties and in securing their rapid improvement."
A statement from Cornwall Council said: "Both the local authority and the governing body ... are confident that Mr Schofield can lead the changes necessary to secure improvement which will gain the confidence of inspectors and parents and ensure a strong future for secondary education in St Ives."
In a letter to parents, Mrs Veal said: "I am optimistic this year's results will be substantially improved as students have already achieved well in subjects such as maths, where 70 per cent of the cohort have achieved an A*-C grade, with more results due in August.
"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.
"We had already identified areas for improvement and had started to address these issues. I have every confidence the school will be turned around in a very short period of time."