Damning Ofsted report at Peterborough special school rated ‘Inadequate’ by inspectors

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A Peterborough special school is to have its governing body replaced after its Ofsted rating was downgraded from ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Inadequate’.

The city council has intervened at The Phoenix School by asking the Government for permission to bring in an ‘interim executive board’ after the shocking Ofsted report.

The Phoenix School

The Phoenix School

In a damning assessment, Ofsted inspectors said “too many staff have not had the necessary checks to show their suitability to work with children and young people”, a problem said to be historical.

Moreover, the quality of education was said to be “not good enough to ensure that the school meets pupils’ profound special educational needs and/or disabilities,” with staff lacking the training to help pupils with severe learning disabilities to learn well.

Ofsted’s report also criticises the low attendance rates while stating that pupils are not prepared for adult life. Staff, though, were praised for working hard to ensure pupils are well cared for and develop their physical skills, while Ofsted noted: ”The new senior leaders have set about making necessary improvements”.

The school in Clayton, Orton Goldhay, educates 153 youngsters aged two to 19 with severe learning difficulties.

Parents have now received a letter from headteacher Charlotte Whysall which states that “many of the areas identified for improvements by Ofsted were known to the school and the city council prior to the visit by inspectors”.

As a result, it is stated, a number of measures were introduced from September, including a new curriculum, new assessment system, new online system to record information on all medical, first aid and care interventions, refresher safeguarding training for all staff and a new behaviour policy.

Ms Whysall said: “I realise this will be a worrying time for parents and carers, but I would like to reassure them that we have a really clear plan in place which details what actions we need to take to see the school improve quickly.”

Jonathan Lewis, council service director for education, said the changes introduced will make a difference in time.