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Thorns Community College put into special measures after damning Ofsted report

A school in Brierley Hill has been put into special measures after a damning Ofsted report.


Inspectors from the schools watchdog have criticised leaders at Thorns Community College, saying there are serious failings in safeguarding at the school - which has 1,068 pupils.

They also highlighted the standard of teaching as 'inconsistent' in the report.

The school was rated as inadequate overall and in 'effectiveness of leadership and management' and 'personal development, behaviour and welfare'.

Inspectors ranked it as requiring improvement for 'quality of teaching, learning and assessment' and 'outcomes for pupils'.

In its previous inspection the college was rated as requires improvement overall.

  • Click here to see the full report

Principal Andy Cox said he accepted Ofsted's findings and efforts had been made to tackle the problems highlighted in the report.

Inspectors wrote: "Leaders' current arrangements for safeguarding pupils do not meet statutory requirements nor reflect the most up-to-date guidance that is available.

"Staff training in safeguarding does not reflect the most recent legislation. In addition, at times, insufficient action, or recording of action, has been taken to support the most vulnerable pupils."

They added: "The quality of teaching, learning and assessment across the school has improved since the previous inspection but it is not yet consistently good.

"Pupils make increased progress as a result of better teaching, but variations remain for some groups of pupils.

"Senior leaders know that there is more to do to reduce the inconsistencies that remain in teaching in some subjects."

Safeguarding concerns are of particular concern for the inspectors.

The report states: "Safeguarding systems are inadequate. Leaders have not ensured key procedures and statutory requirements for safeguarding have been followed consistently.

"Consequently, the safety and welfare of all pupils, particularly the most vulnerable, at the school has not been assured...

"Almost all pupils state that bullying is not a concern for them, and only a small number of pupils say they are aware of bullying taking place at the school.

"However, some parents have reservations about how the school responds to their concerns, for example regarding instances of bullying."

College principal Mr Cox said: "We accept the findings from Ofsted, some of which are related to issues in the way we kept records, others to student attendance rates.

"They have been, for the most part, quickly resolved.

"We have also recently made appointments to increase the capacity of the leadership team to continue to drive forward improvements in the quality of lessons and in our results.

"The safety, wellbeing and education of all pupils at Thorns remains our highest priority, and we will work together to continually raise standards at this college.

"Currently however, this is a very disappointing position to be in after working so hard to move forwards.

"I urge everyone connected with Thorns to read the report in its entirety."

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