The Yorkshire Post is reporting that a Leeds school has been placed in special measures in an Ofsted report warning the relationship between the academy trust responsible for it and the school’s governing body had broken down.
The education watchdog has rated the David Young Community Academy in Seacroft as inadequate in all inspection areas.
The report has been published today as it was confirmed that Ros McMullen the school’s executive principal and the chief executive of the LEAF Academy Trust was leaving her post.
It also follows an independent inspection which was commissioned by the school’s new principal Jeremy Richardson after David Young’s GCSE results were far worse than expected. The school had predicted 55 per cent of pupils achieving five good GCSEs, including English and maths, but only 34 per cent achieved it.
The new Ofsted report says leaders of the school and the academy trust have failed to fulfil legislative requirements relating to safeguarding and to health and safety.
And it warns that a breakdown in relationships between the academy trust and the local governing body, school leaders and staff has delayed essential academy improvements.
Ofsted say that until recently, governors have not challenged school leaders effectively and have been too reliant on senior leaders for information on how well the academy was doing.
Inspectors found that the LEAF academy trust “has an unrealistic view of the academy’s effectiveness, which has been in decline for some time.”
The report says that the new principal has rapidly established an accurate picture of the academy’s position and gained the confidence of governors, senior leaders and staff. “The local governing body, senior leaders and staff have confidence in the new principal and the changes he has proposed but this is not acknowledged by the academy trust,” the report adds…
The report describes the leadership of the academy as dysfunctional and adds: “There is a failure in effective communication between the academy trust and the group of other key stakeholders, including the recently appointed principal, the local governing body, other senior academy leaders and teachers…”
Earlier today the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Ms McMullen was leaving her post at the end of the year. She was the founding principal of the David Young Community Academy when it opened in 2006 and has since become both its executive principal and the chief executive of the LEAF Academy Trust which runs the school…
The report isn’t actually on the Ofsted website yet so whether the Yorkshire Post is reporting on what is still technically a draft version is not clear.
Taken as reported here, it seems the roles of academy trust, governors and school leaders have not been clearly defined or, at least, those in them have not been carrying out the roles particularly effectively.
However, Ofsted appears to be impressed by the new principal – it will be interesting to see what kind of difference he can make over the coming months.
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