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(UK) Derby: School overwhelmed by bad behavior; no "calm/orderly environment" for SPED

June 28, 2022, Derbyshire Live: Derby secondary school where teachers are 'on their knees' is placed in special measures

E. Midlands

A Derby school where staff said they were "on their knees" because of poor pupil behaviour has been placed in special measures. Ofsted inspectors were sent into Chellaston Academy following a number of complaints to the education watchdog "that caused serious concerns" and they concluded that the quality of education, leadership and management and pupil behaviour and attitudes were all "inadequate". Only the sixth form provision was said to be "good".

The inspectors' newly-published report on the 1,725-pupil school said that there are "widespread failures in the leaders' work to keep pupils safe" and that many pupils feel unsafe "because of the poor and inappropriate behaviour of other pupils", with the inspectors being told the same thing by parents and members of staff.

It said: "Senior leaders and members of the local governing body are not aware of the extent of the school’s weaknesses. They have not acted with urgency to address significant weaknesses. They have not shown that they are able to bring about sustained improvement."

The inspection took place last month, within a few weeks of staff saying in early May that they were "on their knees" because of poor pupil behaviour and added that they no longer felt safe in their own school. The school leadership responded by saying that the poor behaviour was down to a group of pupils who had been admitted in September last year because they were in danger of being excludeed from other schools.

The report said: "Disrespectful behaviour and wilful disruption to lessons distract pupils from learning. Some pupils truant their lessons. Some pupils behave poorly at break and lunchtime. Many pupils accept that this is how things are." It continued: "The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective. Leaders, including those from the trust, preside over a poor culture of safeguarding. They do not provide all staff with up-to-date and effective training. Many members of staff do not understand their safeguarding responsibilities.

"Safeguarding leaders do not recognise when pupils are at risk. They do not take timely and appropriate steps to keep pupils safe. They do not work effectively with all relevant external agencies to provide support when needed. Record-keeping is poor.

"Leaders have not ensured that attendance registers are accurate. They do not have effective systems to ensure the whereabouts of all pupils in the school day. Many pupils truant their lessons. Leaders do not have secure processes in place to check the safeguarding of pupils who attend work experience. They are not assured of pupils’ welfare."

The inspectors said that the leaders are "not ambitious for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)", they have "not secured a calm and orderly environment".

Their report stated: "The behaviour of too many pupils in years seven to 11 is unacceptable. Pupils struggle to focus on their learning in many classrooms. Some teachers have low expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Some teachers do not manage behaviour effectively. Senior leaders do not support staff to improve pupils’ attitudes and conduct. Pupils are not challenged when they truant lessons."…


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