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St Ives School placed in special measures

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: June 13, 2013

Classroom

St Ives School placed in special measures

Comments (14)

FAILURES in teaching, pupil achievement and leadership have seen St Ives School put into special measures after a damning Ofsted report.

Labelled as inadequate, the findings come with the recently appointed head teacher replaced by a troubleshooter.

The town's only secondary school, which has 700 pupils, will have a new interim head teacher from next month after inspectors found "serious weaknesses".

"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," read the Ofsted report.

It went on to say average students fail to make enough progress, teaching is not effective and lessons fail to inspire but it added that the new head teacher and governing body were working well together and had established clear priorities for improvement.

The report also praised the strong relationships staff have with students.

Current head Jenny Veal, a well-respected teacher, has only been in the post for six months. She will now work as deputy – her original position – under the new regime.

Mrs Veal was appointed after former head David Harris left in the middle of the academic year, in December last year, after 21 years at the school. Richard Schofield, current head at Brannel School, near St Austell, is to take over next month.

Parents of pupils at the school were informed of the move late last week in a letter from David Griffin, chairman of governors, and Trevor Doughty, Cornwall Council's director of children's services.

It said: "The report following the recent Ofsted inspection of St Ives School has now been published. It points to a number of significant weaknesses at the school and the inspectors have indicated that special measures must be taken to secure the necessary improvements.

"In order to put things right as soon as possible, we have asked Richard Schofield to take charge as interim executive head teacher. Mrs Veal will continue her work as first deputy to Mr Schofield.

"Mr Schofield has considerable experience in leading schools in difficulties and in securing their rapid improvement."

A statement from Cornwall Council said: "Both the local authority and the governing body ... are confident that Mr Schofield can lead the changes necessary to secure improvement which will gain the confidence of inspectors and parents and ensure a strong future for secondary education in St Ives."

In a letter to parents, Mrs Veal said: "I am optimistic this year's results will be substantially improved as students have already achieved well in subjects such as maths, where 70 per cent of the cohort have achieved an A*-C grade, with more results due in August.

"Inspectors recognised the excellent pastoral care, the strong relationships and also the very good behaviour.

"We fully accept that there are improvements to be made with particular regard to teaching and learning.

"We had already identified areas for improvement and had started to address these issues. I have every confidence the school will be turned around in a very short period of time."

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14 comments

  • SpeedySpod  |  June 24 2013, 4:20AM

    A Parental reflection on the 2013 Ofsted Report for St Ives School A Technology College The ethos of the school, which is largely ignored in the 2013 Ofsted report, is acceptable and attractive to the majority of parents, and is currently widely recognised as a good foundation from which students may progress towards intellectual and social maturity. Students value the skills they are taught, including teamwork and other aspects of learning, and are successful in establishing lasting and positive relationships. Their performance in external examinations is at least satisfactory and frequently exemplary. Overall the performance of both staff and students remains good, as assessed in an Ofsted report in 2010. The dynamic cultural, social and spiritual framework on which the school rests, which was so highly rated and praised by the inspectors in 2010, still embraces the school community. There is ample evidence that the outputs or products of this framework, for example deference, courtesy, sensitivity and respect, are prized, and are viewed as attractive, praiseworthy and impressive educational attainments. There is little evidence in the 2013 report to illustrate or explain the alleged sudden transformation of Ofsted's assessment of the school's performance. The greatest attributes of the school are given scant regard, suggesting that in the brief time allocated to them the inspectors failed to respect or even identify the selfless and excellent service of many people to the school community. For example there is in fact industry and commitment, from both staff and students, which is far more admirable and impressive than the report concludes. The Governors of the school have failed the school community in accepting a report which was so negative and condemning and which does not reflect truly the performance of most of those who teach and study there. Members of the Governing body should take responsibility both corporately and individually for not challenging the weak generalisations and lack of evidence offered by the inspectors. Governors should also apologise for their lack of support for the school community and the Head Teacher in particular when they absented themselves from a meeting attended by hundreds of concerned parents on 20th June 2013. I would suggest a great majority of parents will wish to uphold the standards which are so greatly appreciated at St Ives School. We need to offer all the support we can to members of staff and to Mrs Veal in these difficult days.

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 24 2013, 4:15AM

    A Parental reflection on the 2013 Ofsted Report for St Ives School A Technology College One parent has written the following: The ethos of the school, which is largely ignored in the 2013 Ofsted report, is acceptable and attractive to the majority of parents, and is currently widely recognised as a good foundation from which students may progress towards intellectual and social maturity. Students value the skills they are taught, including teamwork and other aspects of learning, and are successful in establishing lasting and positive relationships. Their performance in external examinations is at least satisfactory and frequently exemplary. Overall the performance of both staff and students remains good, as assessed in an Ofsted report in 2010. The dynamic cultural, social and spiritual framework on which the school rests, which was so highly rated and praised by the inspectors in 2010, still embraces the school community. There is ample evidence that the outputs or products of this framework, for example deference, courtesy, sensitivity and respect, are prized, and are viewed as attractive, praiseworthy and impressive educational attainments. There is little evidence in the 2013 report to illustrate or explain the alleged sudden transformation of Ofsted's assessment of the school's performance. The greatest attributes of the school are given scant regard, suggesting that in the brief time allocated to them the inspectors failed to respect or even identify the selfless and excellent service of many people to the school community. For example there is in fact industry and commitment, from both staff and students, which is far more admirable and impressive than the report concludes. The Governors of the school have failed the school community in accepting a report which was so negative and condemning and which does not reflect truly the performance of most of those who teach and study there. Members of the Governing body should take responsibility both corporately and individually for not challenging the weak generalisations and lack of evidence offered by the inspectors. Governors should also apologise for their lack of support for the school community and the Head Teacher in particular when they absented themselves from a meeting attended by hundreds of concerned parents on 20th June 2013. I would suggest a great majority of parents will wish to uphold the standards which are so greatly appreciated at St Ives School. We need to offer all the support we can to members of staff and to Mrs Veal in these difficult days.

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 18 2013, 12:31AM

    and also according to the latest Secondary School League tables (2013). If St Ives Technology School has been put on 'special measures', then so should be Brannel School which has performed similar if not worse while with Mr Richard Schofield. I cannot see a head who's been in retirement at the begin of the Recession (2009) and under whose one-year leadership Brannel School has performed worse at GCSEs - how can he 'rescue' St Ives Technology School while in the Recession? What did Mr Schofield do for Brannel School and what did he do while in retirement to keep his skills updated for the current climate while in the Recession? http://tinyurl.com/ljje23z

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 16 2013, 4:33AM

    Wow!!! According to the Secondary School League tables (2012) St Ives Technology College has performed BETTER than Brannel School (Mr Schofield's current employment 2012-13), and also better than Humphrey Davy School and Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance!!! http://tinyurl.com/ksnhb8l St Ives Technology College has also done brilliantly in Music GCSEs (with A*- C in 2010: 75%, 75% in 2011 and 89% in 2012): http://tinyurl.com/kls5oyt The latest Ofsted report utterly fails to bring out these successes. In fact it reads more like a bleak schematic. I have seen similar 'one mold of report fits all failing schools' from Ofsted for other apparently ailing schools. No details, no bringing out of the best and the worst of this particular school. I am astonished that 'The Cornishman' and other regional newspapers incl BBC can participate in this SMEAR CAMPAIGN without any critical judgement. Phew!!!!

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 15 2013, 5:19AM

    Making progress and still threatened by Ofsted as 'inadequate' - Earlsheaton Technology College (11 June 2013) http://tinyurl.com/khyvun6

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 15 2013, 2:06AM
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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 15 2013, 2:04AM

    Carisbrooke College - Isles of Wight (being merged from all former middle schools and one college on the Isles of Wight, college being '1'= outstanding in 2007, old teachers being taken over after merger, opened in Sep 2011 - Ofsted put on 'special measures' in April 2013): http://tinyurl.com/a9g4h4j and http://tinyurl.com/kovk5fd http://tinyurl.com/mn8lpp4

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 15 2013, 1:44AM

    Bexhill High School turned into academy only 5 months in put on 'special measures' (19 April 2013): http://tinyurl.com/lbolwd6

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 15 2013, 1:41AM

    Sheffield Sec School, only 18 months in after merger (21 May 2013): http://tinyurl.com/mx34mqj

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  • SpeedySpod  |  June 15 2013, 1:39AM

    Me now searching for 'inadequate' and 'special measures' and everything that appears 'fishy' to me I shall post below.

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