Knife rumour school put into special measures

A school where parents recently took their children out of class amid rumours a pupil had taken in a knife has been placed in special measures.

Hurst Hill Primary School in Coseley has been judged inadequate by Osted inspectors.

Bosses at the school said 'representations' had been made to Ofsted about the findings of the inspection, which were revealed today following a visit in May.

A report said that pupils’ attainment and progress by the end of year six was not up to standard and had fallen below national expectations for the past three years.

Teaching was also criticised as inadequate by inspectors while the report said that isolated pockets of bullying were not being managed urgently and effectively with exclusions and persistent absences remaining too high.

School leaders and the governing body have not managed improvements systematically and progress in teaching and behaviour has not been fast enough, according to the report.

Inspectors also noted that relationships had broken down between the Paul Street school and a small group of parents.

Moves to place the school in special measures come just weeks after around 20 parents took their children out of the school for two days amid rumours a pupil had taken a knife into the school.

No evidence was found by staff or Dudley police to support the claim.

Headteacher Caroline Dingle said: “We always strive for the best educational standards for our pupils.

“We have already made representations to Ofsted about the findings of the report while recognising the opportunity to make improvements.

“A number of improvement measures have already been put in place, including partnership working with other schools, and we continue to keep parents regularly informed.

“We want to maintain a positive, learning environment for all of the children to the end of term, and welcome any comments from parents to us directly.”

Councillor Tim Crumpton, cabinet member for children's services and lifelong learning on Dudley Council, said: "We are continuing to work closely with the school to offer help and support for staff and pupils including providing links with local high performing schools and appointing an extra governor to give extra help moving forward.

“The school shares our vision of providing the very best educational standards and putting children first in everything they do, and we are committed to working with them to build on this."