Les Voies School has been rated as “inadequate” in three categories, and “requires improvement” in another by the Office for Standards in Education, Children Services and Skills (Ofsted).
The school is for children and young people aged 9 to 16 who experience social, emotional, and mental health difficulties. 31 pupils were enrolled at the time of the inspection.
Ofsted visited between June 22 and 23 this year. Its independent report found that “the expectations of too many staff are low”, “the curriculum lacks ambition”, and “pupils do not know what many staff expect from them”.
The quality of education, behaviour and attitudes and leadership and management were rated “inadequate”, whilst personal development and welfare was found to require improvement.
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said she is “naturally disappointed” by the report but said it is why her Committee are “so committed to embarking on a rigorous external inspection regime”.
Ofsted noted many of the students had challenging experiences in education prior to attending Les Voies and said safeguarding arrangements are “effective”, with staff “aware of their responsibilities to keep pupils safe”.
Pictured: As well as addressing the curriculum, Ofsted suggested several other improvements.
The report continues: “There is a lack of respect towards adults and clear routines have not been established. Some pupils say that staff do not care about low-level disruption or their lack of respect. When staff do attempt to address poor behaviour, too many pupils do not respond positively. Pupils choose to leave lessons or opt out of their learning too often. Pupils set their own boundaries.
“Leaders acknowledge that the current curriculum is not where they want it to be. They want the best for pupils and have plans in place for a revised curriculum in the next academic year. Nonetheless, subject leaders have not had up-to-date relevant professional development to design and support the effective implementation of the curriculum. Staff do not have the curricular knowledge and expertise needed to deliver the curriculum successfully.
“Leaders do not place sufficient importance on developing pupils’ reading skills and mathematical understanding. The curriculum is poorly sequenced, so pupils do not have sufficient opportunity to practise, consolidate and apply new learning.
“Pupils do not talk positively about the way that staff manage behaviour. They are aware that they get differing responses from different adults. Some pupils say they are used to seeing their peers behaving poorly. Although pupils say bullying is not prevalent, some pupils show a lack of respect towards each other. Leaders do not have a clear strategy to support pupils to deal with new or challenging situations.”
Pictured: The President of ESC, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, believes inspections allow for efforts to be targeted where improvements are needed.
Deputy Dudley-Owen said external inspections help to guide the future direction of education: “Our Committee, the schools themselves and the wider community needs to see inspection findings for all our schools to support our desire to embed a culture of continuous improvement across the education system and external inspections are a crucial part of this.
“While the judgements made at Les Voies are not where we would want them to be, there are also many students achieving positive outcomes while needing the specialist support the school provides.”
Jon Furley, the school’s Headteacher, expressed his “upset and disappointment” at the report’s findings: “I want to take this opportunity to reassure the school community that we continue to put the students at the centre of everything we do. I absolutely accept that our curriculum at the time of the inspection was not good enough. We have been working hard over the last two years to make significant revisions to improve this important aspect of school life and will continue to do so.
“As part of our continued school development work, we recognise there is lots for us to do and as Headteacher I am clear of my responsibility to drive school improvement. As the leader of this school I do however need to state that our school achieves a great deal including excellent exam results, and we deliver positive outcomes for children and young people that have significant barriers to learning.”
Nick Hynes, Director of Education across the Bailiwick, claimed work is already underway to address issues before Ofsted return for a monitoring visit "within the next 18 months".
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