Failing Doncaster secondary school in special measures

Don Valley Academy students on A-level results day this year.
Don Valley Academy students on A-level results day this year.
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A Doncaster secondary school has been placed in special measures – just three months after a new headteacher took over.

Ofsted has rated Don Valley Academy and Performing Arts College as inadequate following a damning inspection.

Teaching standards and the exam results had deteriorated to well below the national average, a report said.

It added that senior management and governors of the school in Jossey Lane, Scawthorpe, had also ‘failed to arrest the deterioration in provision’ and that teachers’ expectations of youngsters ‘is too low’.

Marianne Young, report author, said: “Since the previous inspection the proportion of students of all abilities and different starting points gaining five A* to C grades including English and mathematics has declined to well below the national average.

“Attainment in a range of subjects is low especially in A* to A grade. There is no trend of improvement in the attainment of disadvantaged students and compared to non-disadvantaged students nationally it remains low.”

The bombshell comes after Ofsted rated Doncaster’s schools among the worst in the country in its annual report. Doncaster’s secondary schools and academies were ranked fifth worst nationally with only 63 per cent of teens attending a school that was classed as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

Don Valley, which has 1,099 teenagers and is run by the Schools Partnership Trust Academies, is the latest in a line of Doncaster schools that have fallen foul to Ofsted’s more stringent marking criteria.

In 2013, 48 per cent of pupils achieved five GCSEs at A* to C, including maths and English, compared to 60 per cent nationally. This summer 45 per cent reached the benchmark compared to 68.8 per cent nationally.

The report said, however, in the sixth form, most students are broadly in line with national rates and that headteacher Karen Squire is ‘making clear her expectations in order to make improvements rapidly’.

Both Ms Squire and SPTA were unavailable for comment.