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Willenhall E-ACT Academy pupils pelt Ofsted inspectors with food as school put in special measures

Willenhall | Ofsted reports | Published:

Out-of-control pupils pelted Ofsted inspectors with food at a school which has now been placed into special measures.

Willenhall E-ACT Academy has been put into special measures

Willenhall E-ACT Academy, which has more than 1,300 pupils, has been ranked inadequate by Ofsted across the board in a damning report which was published yesterday.

Inspectors highlighted a catalogue of issues in the report, including sub-standard teaching and poor behaviour from pupils. The academy, in Furzebank Way, was previously rated as ‘requires improvement’ in 2015.

The report says:

  • One-third of pupils in Years 7 to 11 are persistently absent
  • Ofsted inspectors were pelted with food during their inspection visit
  • Students feel unsafe due to repeated poor behaviour
  • Seventy per cent of teachers left the school during 2015 and 2016
  • In many lessons, teachers are regularly interrupted by pupils

Inspectors ranked the school – which has 1,340 students – inadequate overall and in the five inspection categories – leadership; teaching; behaviour; outcomes for pupils and 16-19 studies. The report, published yesterday, states: “Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.”

Regarding teaching staff, inspectors wrote: “During 2015 and 2016, 70 per cent of teachers left the school. This high turnover of staff has greatly hampered what leaders have been able to accomplish.”

The report says of pupil attendance: “Over a third of pupils in Years 7 to 11 are persistently absent. Of these, just under a half are disadvantaged pupils.” It adds: “Inspectors had food thrown at them in the canteen and in a classroom. A small number of pupils were rude to them.” “Inspectors were jostled in corridors and witnessed staff being ignored or defied. A senior leader was spoken to disrespectfully by pupils and told inspectors this was the norm.”

It adds: “Persistently poor behaviour at social times and in lessons leads to many pupils feeling unsafe and not learning well.

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Inspectors did highlight some positives in the report, stating: “E-ACT, the school sponsor, fully recognises the challenges faced by the school and has begun to address aspects of greatest concern. Vocational education in the sixth form is strong and leads to good outcomes for students.”

An E-ACT Trust spokesman said: "Naturally we are disappointed by Ofsted’s decision.

"However, under the strong leadership of Ms Kirsty Jones as the recently appointed headteacher, and with the close support that we provide across all aspects of the academy, we are confident that Willenhall Academy will continue to make rapid progress so that we can offer the best possible education to our students.

"At E-ACT we are proud of the fact that almost two thirds of our academies are rated at least Good by Ofsted, and we expect Willenhall to join this group by the time of their next Ofsted inspection."

Read the full report here

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Deputy Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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