IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

‘Inadequate’ school to be next academy?

Ofsted inspectors call for ‘urgent action’ over safety

10 March, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Clerkenwell Parochial School

A CLERKENWELL primary school is set to be converted into an academy after it was rated “Inadequate” by Ofsted.

Inspectors found flaws in Clerkenwell Parochial School’s safeguarding procedures, urging staff to take “urgent action” after they visited the school in November.

The report, published on Monday, shows that the effectiveness of leadership and management, and personal development, behaviour and welfare, as well as the early years provision, were “Inadequate”.

The Amwell Street school was not placed in special measures, but the law states that any state school which is deemed “Inadequate” must be­come an academy.

The school is part of a family of church schools in the London Diocesan Board for Schools, which has two multi-academy trusts that Clerkenwell will most likely join.

It comes just weeks after Highbury Grove School was given the same order after a damning inspection.

Islington Council education chief Joe Caluori said: “The recent wave of new Ofsted school inspections have thrown up some really strange results across London. Of course, safeguarding is a critical part of a school’s core business, but on this occasion I feel the wrong decision has been made. Clerkenwell would be better off carrying on as a local authority school.”

Cllr Joe Caluori

With a glut of inspections due at Islington schools over the coming months, including Newington Green and Grafton, council education teams have been paying a series visits to ensure safeguarding procedures are up to scratch.

On the first day of Clerkenwell’s inspection, inspectors had been ready to rate the school as “Good”, and this would have stuck if the school chose to accept this result. Instead, a new team paid a second visit to judge whether the school could qualify for the top “Outstanding” rating, but at this point noticed that school leaders were not taking the necessary steps to “keep pupils safe during all school activities”.

“Inspectors observed poor levels of supervision and weak record-keeping which were a risk to pupils’ safety and well-being,” the report said.

The quality of teaching and pupils’ results were found to be “Good”. The school had been rated “Good” on its last inspection in 2011.

Christopher Trundle, Chair of Governors and vicar of Holy Redeemer church, said: “We were given clear guidance on the areas for improvement and before Christmas our Headteacher and the board of governors set to work and have already completed a full programme of corrective measures.

We have reassured parents that all children are safe at Clerkenwell Parochial School; broad statements in the report about the ineffectiveness of safeguarding are linked to specific faults in procedures and recordkeeping, and these have now been corrected.”

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