HAMPSHIRE County Council has been criticised by education watchdogs for not doing enough to help a Basingstoke school come out of “special measures”.
As previously reported in The Gazette, Grangeside School, in Pack Lane, was graded as “inadequate” and put in “special measures” by Ofsted in November 2012.
The school caters for children who have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, some of whom have attention deficit disorder, autism or moderate learning difficulties.
Her Majesty’s Inspector Sue Morris-King visited the school in June, and, in a subsequent report, said that a statement of action prepared by the local authority was “not fit-for-purpose”.
The inspector noted the statement had some strengths – for example, it was clearly organised – but added: “The aims for the progress that students will make over time are too general and not aspirational enough, and therefore would not lead to them making sufficiently accelerated progress to make up for previous under-achievement.”
She said that the proposed timescale for the school to come out of “special measures” was “too slow” and stated: “Who will be monitoring and evaluating each action needs to be specified.”
The school was led by Gareth Evans, headteacher of Lakeside School, in Chandler’s Ford, which is federated with Grangeside, after it was put in “special measures.” He became interim head after previous head Dominic Geraghty quit following the critical inspection.
Paul Scott took over after the Easter holidays, and the inspector said in her letter to him: “The interim headteacher, who led the school for the spring term after it had gone into special measures, rightly concentrated on calming the school and establishing clearer routines and more suitable expectations of students’ behaviour.
“You have concentrated on instilling into students the need to be in each lesson for the full duration, and the importance of concentrating on learning.
“Some students are starting to respond to this. You are working on improving staff’s expectations of the way in which students should behave and what they should expect of them in lessons.”
Councillor Peter Edgar, executive member for education at Hampshire, said: “The Local Authority writes all its statements of action to the guidance provided by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI), as we did in this case, and we are usually commended for their quality.
“We have made the adjustments to the documents that we have been asked to make, and continue to work closely with the school to ensure that it is swiftly removed from “special measures”.”
Mr Scott declined to comment.