Secondary school threatened with closure just three years after opening - The Rugby Observer

Secondary school threatened with closure just three years after opening

Rugby Editorial 11th Oct, 2019 Updated: 11th Oct, 2019   0

A SCHOOL has been threatened with closure just three years after it opened, following a damning Ofsted report.

Rugby Free Secondary School has been told its funding could be stopped unless it can ‘achieve rapid and sustained improvement’.

In July, the Academy school was rated ‘inadequate’ and slammed for ineffective teaching, low morale and disruptive behaviour in its first Ofsted report since opening in 2016.

West Midlands Regional Schools Commissioner Andrew Warren has written to the Learning Today Leading Tomorrow trust which runs the school, warning he would issue a Notice of Termination unless it improved quickly.

He said a number of issues raised in the Ofsted report were ‘of serious concern’ – including pupils wandering out of lessons ‘for a break’ and disrupting other classes.

He said: “Pupils choose which teachers they will behave for and which they will not. Too many arrive late to lessons and leave throughout for no apparent reasons.

“Leaders’ weak communication has resulted in a breakdown of relationships between the body of staff. Consequently, morale at the school is extremely low.”

He added senior leaders had not acted to stem the decline at the school, harming the quality of teaching, and pupils’ behaviour and progress.

“I must be satisfied the Academy can achieve rapid and sustained improvement. If I am not satisfied this can be achieved I will consider issuing a Notice of Termination.”

He requested evidence from the trust including a copy of its post-Ofsted action plan, information on what action is being taken to improve education, and details on pupils’ progress.

A spokesperson for the trust said all schools graded as ‘inadequate’ receive such letters from schools commissioners.

They added: “The trust’s and the school’s leaders have already implemented significant improvements since the inspection six months ago and these have been welcomed by the vast majority of students, staff and parents.

“The Ofsted report makes clear that there is faith in the ability of the trust to affect the required improvements.

“We have full confidence that, when Ofsted return, inspectors will recognise that the school is on a strong upward trajectory.

“While we completely understand the interest and concern caused by the reporting of the letter, we will not let this distract us from the work being carried out to make Rugby Free Secondary a school that the whole community can be proud of.

“We would ask anyone with any specific concerns to discuss these directly with the school.”

The commissioner has arranged a meeting with the trust’s chair and CEO on Thursday October 24.

Visit to read the full Ofsted report and the trust’s response.


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