Special measures at Oakmeeds? Ofsted report imminent

Colin Taylor, the head teacher of Oakmeeds Community College is understood to be “devastated” by the school’s latest Ofsted report, which has prompted the chair of governors, David Fry to offer to resign.

Thursday, 27th March 2014, 11:21 am
Oakmeeds Community College, Burgess Hill SUS-140325-094141001

The Middy understands the Burgess Hill secondary school has been put into special measures with most areas rated as inadequate except for behaviour and safety.

Letters have been sent out to parents directing them to the Ofsted website where the report will be published tomorrow.

Chair of governors, David Fry (pictured) told the Middy: “I am embargoed from discussing the contents of the report until it is in the public domain and published on Ofsted’s website but I can tell you that I tended my resignation that was unanimously rejected by the governing body who want me to carry on.”

Oakmeeds Community College, Burgess Hill Chair of govs (David Fry?) SUS-140325-093956001

The Middy understands that Mr Taylor wants to stay on to improve the school’s academic performance, with external support from the Millais School in Horsham, a centre of excellence for teaching and governance.

After recent Government changes, Ofsted reports now have a stronger focus on academic achievement.

Oakmeeds had a poor year in 2013 when fifty per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades, including English and Maths, which was below the national average.

Like a number of secondary schools in the UK, Oakmeeds has been affected by tougher grade boundaries for English GCSE, which can make the difference between achieving a C or D grade.

After last year’s lower than predicted results, the school put in place several measures in September to ensure that teachers tracked students’ progress more closely.

The governors also initiated an external review of the school.

Speaking about the changes, Mr Fry, 73, said: “The external review was carried out over two days in January by an education official and we acted on his recommendations.

“There is now a clear relationship between governors and subject leaders to review and monitor exactly what is going on.”

The Middy understands the education official, with an Ofsted background, warned the school that if a routine Ofsted inspection happened soon after his visit and before his recommendations could bed down, the school could be classed as borderline ‘inadequate’.

There was a gap of two weeks between his visit and the arrival of the Ofsted inspection team.

For the full article, read this week’s Mid Sussex Times which is out today, March 27.