Excluded pupils’ school is failing, warns Ofsted

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ONE of Donaster’s main facilities for pupils who are excluded from mainstream schools has been criticised by Government inspectors.

Almost half the pupils at The Springboard Centre, which operates from sites in Hexthorpe and Wheatley, fail to turn up.

And no pupils arrived at all for two of the lessons which inspectors were to observe.

Rating the centre as inadequate, inspector Keith Massett’s warned that leaders have failed to ensure youngsters achieve as well as they should.

He said attendance was very low and declining, with more than 40 per cent of pupils absent every day.

There was quick follow-up when a student did not arrive but the centre had not been effective in encouraging pupils to attend regularly.

On two occasions during the inspection, no students were present in lessons the inspectors planned to observe.

The centre serves youngsters aged 14 to 16.

The report stated: “Promotion of equality of opportunity is also inadequate. Teaching and the curriculum often fail to meet the needs or interests of the students and in too many lessons behaviour is poor with some students demonstrating verbal abuse.

“Very occasionally, a few students are physically aggressive towards others but this is dealt with firmly by staff – and students say they feel safe. The school is not a cohesive community.”

The report said occasionally, when lessons were well planned with practical learning activities that were well matched to their needs and interests, pupils make good progress.

But teaching was often based on planning that did not take account of the learning, social and emotional needs of individual pupils.

Poor behaviour, particularly at the Hexthorpe site, interrupted learning too often and adults did not follow expected procedures.