BREAKING NEWS: Ofsted report reveals Harris School is in special measures

Harris School
Harris School

Harris School in Rugby has been judged to require special measures, following an Ofsted inspection in March.

In response to disappointing exam results in September 2012, the local authority had replaced the governing body in January 2013 with an interim executive board (IEB) which acted swiftly to secure the leadership of the school and make improvements.

Headteacher Steve Dobson stepped down in April.

Dr Julie Roberts and Dr Vicky Lundberg have now been appointed as Executive and Associate Headteachers respectively to work with the local authority and the Diocesan Education Board to lead on an improvement programme.

Following’s Ofsted’s visit earlier this year, the official report was published today (Wednesday).

Achivement of pupils, quality of teaching, leadership and mangement were all judged to be inadequate.

The only area of the school which wasn’t classed as inadequate was the behaviour and safety of pupils which was ranked as needing improvement.

According to the report: “A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.”

On their appointment, Dr Roberts and Dr Lundberg posted on the school website: “We are delighted to be joining Harris School at this exciting time in our development as we strive towards excellence for all. Together we will aim to build upon the school’s strengths and become an outstanding centre for learning within the community.

“All that we do will be underpinned by Christian values and mutual respect. Working in partnership with our all young people and their families we will strive to ensure they are all the best that they can be.

“We aim for our students to become highly skilled, confident, articulate young adults well placed to succeed in further education and employment. Striving to unlock the talents of all our students, we will challenge them to achieve their best and pursue a lifelong love of learning.”

The local authority will continue to play an important role in helping the school leadership team to address concerns raised in the recent Ofsted report and to make necessary improvements.

Sarah Callaghan, Head of Learning and Achievement said: “The IEB introduced by the local authority remains in place and is working well with the new leadership to develop action plans for improvements. The Ofsted report recognised our involvement with the school as a strength which has reassured us that we are making good progress.

“Following a special measures judgement it is our responsibility to submit a statement and action plan to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector within 10 days of the report so this is our next step. This will be followed by a series of regular inspections until Ofsted is satisfied that the school has made sufficient improvement to come out of special measures.

“The education of Harris pupils is our top priority and we are all fully committed to ensure that this conclusion is reached at the earliest opportunity.”

In response to the publication of the report, a spokesperson from Coventry Diocesan Board of Education added: “Although the school community will be disappointed by the latest Ofsted report, it does reinforce the need for the changes that have already been put in place.

“We fully support the recent appointment of Dr Julie Roberts as Interim Executive Headteacher and Dr Vicky Lundberg as Interim Associate Headteacher. They both have a great deal of experience in leading a successful Church of England academy, and we are confident that they are the right people to lead the school during its transition to an academy in the coming months.

“Coventry Diocesan Board of Education is working closely with the school’s Interim Executive Board, and we look forward to playing a full part in the appointment of a new governing body.”

At a parents evening on May 1, the Executive and Associate Heads and members of the IEB were able to reassure parents and answer questions.