'Inadequate' academy placed in special measures

A Chichester school has been placed in special measures eight months after converting to academy status.


On May 23/24, Central CE Academy underwent its first inspection since joining the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust (DCAT) in November and was rated 'inadequate'.A report into the findings was published today (July 5), with safety, teaching, behaviour, attendance and the levels of progress being made by pupils, among the concerns raised by inspector Mark Cole and his team.A spokesman for DCAT said the trust was committed to turning things around "as a matter of urgency".Central had been placed in special measures in February 2015 but was able to start with a clean slate once becoming an academy. But Mr Cole's report stated no aspect of the school had improved since November, with many actually getting worse.When it came to safeguarding the children, the inspectors found confidential documents were not stored appropriately and staff were not clear about what to do when they had a concern about a pupil. In addition, Mr Cole's report said restraint was used against children, even by staff who were not trained to do so.The behaviour of the youngsters was described as "poor", with lunchtimes branded "unruly and unsafe".Mr Cole said: "Pupils frequently ignore adults’ requests to listen or line up. Older pupils use bad language freely when playing outside. Behaviour in classrooms is inadequate. Pupils frequently disrupt each other’s learning."Inspectors found the curriculum to be lacking, with subjects such as design and technology hardly ever taught, and others, such as history, geography and science, not taught frequently enough.The report said: "The provision for pupils’ cultural development is inadequate. Pupils lack opportunities to appreciate, respond to or make music and art."Adults at the academy were seen to have "very low expectations" of the children who, in turn, showed little pride in their work. Standards of presentation were desribed as "incredibly low".Children's progress was rated 'inadequate' in all subjects and their personal development "ineffective". The report added: "Not enough pupils come to school regularly." The inspection came less than four weeks after deputy head Kim Huggett took on the role of acting headteacher. She was seen to be responsible for almost every aspect of the school’s work, which Mr Cole said limited its capacity to improve.A spokesman for DCAT said Mrs Huggett would continue in her post as head of school. In a letter to parents, governors and the trust recognised the need to support her, and announced the appointment of Mr Chris Kronda to serve as executive headteacher.The spokesman said: "We note the failings identified in the report and, as a matter of urgency, are fully committed to turning the situation at Central CE Academy around."Indeed, a number of actions were completed immediately following the inspection and further actions agreed with the Department for Education are already in the process of being implemented."A programme of transformation addressing key areas is in the process of being adopted."He added: "We will continue to monitor very closely this radical programme of change. Working with parents, and keeping them fully updated is, of course, a key priority."Our concern is for the flourishing and wellbeing of each and every child at the school and we are fully focussed on working to that end."A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: "The directors of education for both the county council and Chichester Diocese are working together closely since the inspection to ensure that all West Sussex children have the best educational experience possible."

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

To read the report in full, log on to Ofsted's website.

Make the right choice for you and your child - Visit educationsussex.com for trusted school reviews, videos and so much more.