Failing Doncaster school taking 'decisive action' after damning report by inspectors

Balby Carr Community Academy
Balby Carr Community Academy

A Doncaster school has been placed in special measures following a damning report by inspectors.

Ofsted inspectors rated Balby Carr Community Academy, in Balby, as inadequate in four out of five key areas.

In a damning report they said leadership has been 'unsuccessful' in preventing the decline in the school's overall effectiveness.

But they praised new headteacher Tom Ashley, who was appointed in April, for taking 'decisive action' to turn around the school's fortunes.

The report said Mr Ashley has identified what needs to be done to strengthen the school.

Mr Ashley said the report supported what he had found in his short time in post.

He said: "Fundamental changes need to be made to give the community a school it deserves.

“It’s a huge challenge but I would not have taken the permanent role as headteacher if I did not think the school had the potential to improve rapidly over the coming months.

“There are some good students and staff here and what we are doing is ensuring those hard working and dedicated individuals are supported.”

Plans to tackle poor behaviour, lateness and the number of supply teachers were laid out by Mr Ashley in a recent letter to parents.

An instant rewards scheme, the Balby Baffle, has been launched to promote positive behaviour and a new marking scheme will ensure greater consistency.

He was also optimistic he would have a full staffing cohort in September and new safeguarding policies were being implemented. Curriculum issues highlighted in the report were also being tackled.

Volunteers are being sought to join a new parents’ focus group and members of the community were also being invited to join a local governing body that will be re-established after the previous one was criticised by inspectors Ofsted.

Mr Ashley added: "There is a lot going on but there needs to be. I’m determined this school is going to change. When inspectors return in a few months’ time, they will see the academy transformed from the one I inherited.”

Chris Pickering, chief executive of the school's sponsor Wakefield City Academies Trust, said: "Every child is entitled to a good or outstanding education and Balby has fallen short in this respect.

“The focus now is on improving the quality of education and the changes students and parents are experiencing will hopefully reassure them we are determined to turn things around.”

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