Ofsted puts Henbury School in special measures

January 25 2019

A SECONDARY school in our area has been placed in Special Measures by the watchdog Ofsted following an inspection.

Henbury School on Station Road was inspected on November 21 and 22, 2018. It was previously rated as Good at its last inspection in May 2015, having been rated as Requires Improvement in 2013.

The report, published on January 14, stated that the progress made by all groups of pupils has declined. In 2017 the school was in the bottom 3% of schools in the country because of the poor progress made by pupils. Leaders at all levels were not found to have shown the capacity needed to bring about urgent improvements, and rates of absence and fixed-term exclusions are above average.

In terms of its strengths, however, the report stated that the most vulnerable pupils receive strong caring and nurturing support, and that the school’s resource base meets pupils’ needs well.

It is understood that long-serving headteacher Clare Bradford is no longer in post.

In a letter on the school’s website, Carew Reynell, chair of governors,  said: “Whilst the findings of the inspection are disappointing, we wanted to reassure you that the Governing Body are taking quick and decisive action to address the areas of concern raised in the report. 

“The new Acting Headteacher, Ben Parnell and Acting Head of School, Joe Ambrose have significant experience and a proven track record of rapidly improving schools placed in Special Measures.  They are taking immediate action to address issues around tutor group time, behaviour and uniform. The quality of teaching and learning will rapidly improve from 21 January, when a new system of regular short observations with coaching feedback across all lessons will be launched. This has proved extremely effective in other schools in similar situations.”

The outcome of the inspection follows the news in December that Henbury is proposing to join the Greenshaw Learning Trust on April 1, subject to the necessary agreements being reached with the Department for Education.

A parents evening held at the school on Wednesday January 16 was attended by approximately 100 parents. During the meeting, there was a Q and A session with the Acting Heads and a representative from the Governing Body, as well as an opportunity to discuss the report and the measures being put in place to address its findings.

A spokesman for the school said: “Henbury School has been placed in Special Measures following an Ofsted inspection in November 2018. T

"The Henbury Governing Body along with Acting Headteacher, Ben Parnell and Acting Head of School, Joe Ambrose, have taken immediate action to address some of the issues raised in the report, including revisiting the existing behaviour and uniform policy and ensuring consistency of approach and high expectations, as well as ensuring the challenge of the curriculum is high enough with external support for English, Languages and Religious Studies in the first instance. 

“A parents evening, held on January 16, was well attended. Mr Parnell and Mr Ambrose, along with representatives from the Governing Body, were able to reassure parents that the school’s strong pastoral system would remain unaffected and that SEND provision at the school remained a priority.”