A SCATHING Ofsted inspection has slammed Bankfield School in Widnes and placed into special measures, branding it as ‘inadequate’ with serious defects.
Leadership and management have been criticised for failing to tackle weaknesses at the school in Liverpool Road which has 713 students.
Pupils are under achieving and not being given sufficient opportunities.
Governors have been blamed for being too weak and abandoning their responsibility to monitor the school’s performance.
An experienced deputy head teacher, a consultant and an interim executive board have now been appointed by Halton Council.
Dr Harry Ziman, an experienced school governor will chair the board with experienced governors, Dr Ruth Agnew and Halton Clr Phil Harris and former teacher Clr Tony McDermott..
Lead inspector Ann Ashdown said: “Students’ attainment is not high enough, well below the national average. Students’ progress is too low and they do not make constent enough progress in developing their literacy and numeracy skills.
“Teachers do not have high enough expectations of what their students can do. Consequently, the work set is often too easy, especially for the most able students.
“Leadership and management are inadequate because leaders, managers and governors do not have the capacity to tackle weaknesses and bring about improvements quickly enough to ensure the students achieve well.
“Governance is weak. Governors do not monitor the school’s work, including student progress, sufficiently closely to be well informed about its performance in comparison to that of schools nationally.”
“Students’ behaviour requires improvenment.”
Incensed parents mounted a demonstration on Tuesday and criticised head teacher Carole Owen for letting standards slip since achieving ‘outstanding’ in 2010.
Dad-of-five and former pupil, Phil Black, aged 44, of Masefield Avenue, said: “There are some fantastic teachers but we need a new management structure, someone with vision to move it back to where it was.
“Teachers are not getting the support they need and deserve. Our kids are being let down.”
Gerald Meehan, Halton Council’s strategic director for children, said: “The council is very disappointed at the outcome of Bankfield’s Ofsted inspection and we are working in partnership with the school to bring about improvements.
“An action plan has been drawn up to address areas of weakness.
“Parents should be reassured that their children will continue to be well supported at the school.”
NAS/UWT teachers’ union representative, Jenni Long said: “We have been raising concerns about behaviour for some time.
“Teachers spend their entire lesson trying to deal with disruptive pupils. You’ve got to get behaviour and respect right before you can deliver outstanding, motivational, stimulating lessons.
“Teachers are desperate to have somebody leading them in the right direction. They are not frightened of the challenges and changes that need to be made.”
Halton MP and former pupil Derek Twigg said: “A lot of good teaching takes place.
“We’ve got to move the school forward and get the best possible education for all the students. I will be following the situation very closely.”