School failing says report

Chris Pratt, the director of DMBC's Children and Young Person's Service.
Chris Pratt, the director of DMBC's Children and Young Person's Service.
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ONE of Doncaster’s biggest schools has been put into special measures just two years after moving into a new £23 million building.

Ofsted has warned Mexborough School is failing to give all learners an acceptable standard of education and has placed the school in special measures.

Members of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet will meet next Wednesday to consider a proposal of recommended action to be taken to support rapid improvements at the school, which was opened by Prince Edward in January 2009.

Doncaster Council’s director of the children and young people’s service, Chris Pratt, said: “We have a lot of good staff at Mexborough School, including a new and experienced headteacher, Mirjam Bühler-Willey, who only started last September and has an excellent track record of raising standards at her previous school.

“We are working closely with Mexborough School in order to implement the right support that will assist in it being removed from special measures in a reasonable period of time.

“In order to provide full support to the headteacher and strengthen governance at the school, I am recommending to cabinet they suspend the delegated powers of the governing body and authorise me to exercise these powers on behalf of the council for one year, at which time this will then be reviewed.

“I am confident that, with the right support, together with the continued commitment from staff, parents and students, the school can improve quickly.

“We look forward to supporting Mexborough School in its determination for accelerated improvement and we are committed to ensuring the students of Mexborough get the highest possible standards of education.”

The report has angered Coun Sue Phillips, who has resigned as a school governor as a result.

She has disputed Ofsted’s findings and lodged a complaint with the inspectors.

The report said pupils make inadequate progress overall because teaching, the curriculum, care, guidance and support are all inadequate.

Progress was tracked and monitored but not rigorously enough to support at least satisfactory progress for all pupils, especially those whose circumstances make them more vulnerable.

The report says the curriculum does not challenge pupils and does not meet their needs or interests.

Provision for the development of the basic skills of numeracy, literacy and information and communication technology was inadequate, and too many students did not acquire the basic skills they need to ensure their future economic wellbeing.

Attendance was found to be low, behaviour inadequate and fixed-term exclusions, although reducing, were too high.