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Great Barr based Perry Beeches Academy slips to inadequate Ofsted rating

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Poor leadership, a dysfunctional governing body, pupils vulnerable to online radicalisation, serious financial failings and haphazard identification of students with special needs.

Perry Beeches Academy has suffered a fall from grace and has now been branded 'inadequate' by a Government watchdog three years after it was rated Outstanding.

The large Great Barr-based secondary, which caters for around 900 pupils, suffered the resignation of boss Liam Nolan earlier this year.

It came after it was revealed the academy trust chairman had been paid an extra £160,000 over two years from public money, on top of his £120,000 salary.

Now inspectors, who visited on September 22, have told of wider failings throughout the academy.

Read the inspection report

Ofsted's report said: "Leaders, governors and staff have been distracted from the core purpose of educating young people.

"As a result, this school is in serious decline.

"Many leaders are new to their role and they have not had the time to demonstrate their capacity to bring about the necessary improvements."

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It added: "As a direct result of weak governance, standards at the school have deteriorated.

"Staff who spoke with inspectors said that the uncertainty surrounding the school's future was very unsettling.

"Staff also said that they had lost confidence in governors and leaders."

The report added: "While pupils understand the broad risks of using the internet, a few pupils in Years 7 and 8 are not fully aware of the dangers posed by individuals who use social media to promote extremist views."

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The watchdog also referenced the Education Funding Agency report stating: "A recent Education Funding Agency investigation has shown that Perry Beeches Academy Trust has not managed the school's finances well and there have been serious failings in this respect."

Teaching quality was deemed 'Good' overall with inspectors declaring some tuition as 'inspirational' and 'highly effective'.

Likewise pupils' outcomes was also rated as 'Good' with inspectors noting most students who went into the school with 'average' attainment showed 'strong' progress by the time they reached Year 11.

In a statement acting chief executive Paul Wheeler said: "In recognition to issues outlined in the report, the trust appointed, in May 2016, a new board of trustees, a new acting chief executive officer and our newly-appointed acting headteacher on September 1.

"Whilst improvements have already been made, this new structure has yet to demonstrate impact due to the short time in operation leading up to the inspection. Much progress has been made since the inspection."

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