A SPECIAL school in Great Harwood, which has had five headteachers in two years, has been labelled “inadequate” by Government watchdogs.
Ofsted inspectors have placed North Cliffe School on Blackburn Old Road in special measures due to inadequate achievement and teaching as well as poor development for its 46 pupils.
This means the school will receive extra support from the local authority and face closure if improvements are not made.
The school will now receive another inspection within six months and further three-monthly follow-ups.
Inspector Alastair Younger said: “There has been major disruption in the leadership and management of the school over the past year.
“The school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.”
The report said current headteacher Mark Wilson’s predecessor, David Parkes, who was acting head for two months, was credited with implementing “important changes” such as raising staff morale, increasing pupils’ enjoyment of school and helping the school recover from a rapid decline since the previous inspection.
Following its March report, the Ofsted report said: “Over recent years pupils’ attendance has fallen and the number of exclusions has risen.
This came to a head last year when exclusions rose five-fold to 44 and attendance fell dramatically, symptomatic of pupils’ lack of enjoyment at school.”
The report added: “Although pupils are enjoying school more, the number of serious incidents remains very high. While these include threatening behaviour towards staff and other pupils, racist abuse is almost unheard of.”
Inspectors said teaching and learning were rated inadequate, and inspectors said the school was “overstaffed” because “superfluous” classroom assistants were not deployed where they were most needed. Consequently pupils leave with few qualifications.
The curriculum and the care, guidance and support at the school were rated as more effective areas, rated “satisfactory”.
Headteacher Mr Wilson said: “The report makes clear that, while the school made good progress under the last temporary headteacher, there are still areas that need further improvement to ensure the school is providing the quality of education that our pupils deserve.
“For that reason, the local authority asked me to take over the headship of the school last month, to provide some much-needed stability of leadership.
“We have an action plan in place and support from advisers from the county council and I am confident that we will be able to continue the school’s improvements on all fronts.”
Parents have been informed about the report and encouraged to contact the school if they have any concerns.
In addition, the school will hold its annual parents’ evening on Tuesday where the headteacher and representatives from the local authority will be available to answer parents’ questions.