Threats and intimidating behaviour at Doncaster school blasted as' unsafe' in damning report

A Doncaster school has been branded ‘unsafe’ and ‘inadequate’ and bosses told to urgently improve in a damning report after inspectors uncovered threats and intimidating behaviour among pupils.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 11:14 am
Updated Thursday, 30th June 2022, 11:14 am

Independent special school North Bridge Enterprise College, which is based inside Doncaster’s Eco Power Stadium, does not meet indepednent school standards according to education watchdog Ofsted.

And inspectors said: “Poor behaviour mean that classrooms are disorderly and very little learning takes place.”

It also added that overall effectiveness of the school, quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management were all inadequate.

Ofsted inspectors gave the school a damning report.

The scathing report said: “Leaders’ expectations of pupils are not high enough. Many pupils who are registered at the school have been permanently excluded, or were at risk of permanent exclusion, from other settings.

"In most cases, leaders’ efforts to re-engage pupils in their education are not successful. The curriculum is poorly planned.

"Pupils are not prepared well for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

“Leaders have failed to establish a safe environment for pupils. Threatening language and intimidating behaviour are endemic. Many pupils do not attend school regularly.

“Some pupils are disrespectful towards staff and use inappropriate language towards them.

"Staff do not manage pupils’ behaviour well because they have not had clear guidance or suitable training. Pupils’ lack of engagement in lessons and frequent poor behaviour mean that classrooms are disorderly and very little learning takes place."

The report, which has just been released, said that instances of bullying were managed appropriately by staff.

It added: “Staff demonstrate genuine care and concern for pupils. However, leaders, including governors and the proprietor body, have failed to ensure that staff have sufficient training to help them to provide the specialist support that pupils, many of whom have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), require.

"Staff are ill equipped to help pupils to improve their behaviour or support them to access education.

“Rates of absence are high. The vast majority of pupils are persistently absent. Those who do attend are often late. As a result, the education that pupils receive is

disjointed.

"Leaders have not put suitable arrangements in place to ensure that pupils attend well. There is a haphazard approach to managing pupils’ absence.

“A number of pupils attend part time. Leaders have not ensured that part-time timetables are consistently agreed with parents and carers. When a pupil does attend part time, the agreed absences are counted as school attendance in the data analysed by leaders.

"Therefore, leaders themselves do not have an accurate view of the scale of pupils’ absence.”

The report continued: “The school’s curriculum is weak. Subject leaders have not had sufficient training to help them to design an effective curriculum.

“Teachers do not provide effective support for some pupils’ individual needs. As a result, teachers do not know how to help some pupils to improve.

“Leaders’ expectations for managing pupils’ behaviour are unclear. Some staff use rewards and sanctions that are not included in the school’s brief behaviour policy. For example, some staff use unhealthy food as a reward. Some staff challenge the use of mobile telephones in lessons, while others do not.

"The expectations of how pupils should behave are unclear to pupils.

“The proprietor body and members of the governing body do not recognise the extent of the weaknesses in the school. There is a lack of urgency in addressing the weaknesses of which they are aware. Governors and the proprietor body have not effectively held leaders to account or supported them to improve the school.

“Leaders have failed to establish a safe environment for pupils. Pupils’ behaviour in the school is unsafe.

"Pupils do not comply with staff’s instructions. Pupils regularly leave the building. The policy and procedure for when a pupil absconds are not well understood by staff. Inconsistencies in the way in which staff record who is in the building mean that in the event of a fire, staff cannot say with certainty who is on site.

"Fire extinguishers are locked away to keep them out of reach of pupils, making it difficult to use them if they are required in the event of a fire.”

“Because of pupils’ poor behaviour, the school is unsafe. Leaders should take urgent action to ensure that an effective behaviour policy is developed and consistently implemented by staff.

“Leaders do not understand the extent of the school’s weaknesses. They do not have the knowledge and understanding to ensure that the independent school standards are consistently met. Governors and the proprietor body do not hold leaders effectively to account. As a result, standards have declined significantly since the previous inspection.

“Leaders should ensure that urgent action is taken to improve the areas of weakness in the school."

The full report is available HERE