School in Milton Keynes responds to special measures questions

Leaders of a school that has been put into special measures say they are already on track to losing the “inadequate” label they were given by Ofsted.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 6:00 pm

A team of six inspectors descended on Stantonbury International School in January following a rush of concerns from parents concerned about the safety of their children.

A child had been stabbed with a pair of scissors only days before.

Inspectors, who had visited the campus barely one year before downgraded their view of the school, in Purbeck, from “Requires Improvement” to “Inadequate”.

Stantonbury International School
Stantonbury International School

They found examples of violence, dangerous behaviour, truancy, and students who were scared of walking around the premises. Under pressure staff spoke of poor leadership, vacancies, and absences.

Putting the school into “special measures” – the lowest possible rating from Ofsted – means that its progress will be regularly monitored before it is re-inspected.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service put a series of questions to the Griffin Schools Trust, which runs Stantonbury International School and 12 others across the Midlands and South East of England.

Here are the questions and the replies in full:

1. Are children safe when attending Stantonbury School?

Yes.

Stantonbury had a full safeguarding review by an independent assessor and put into place an updated set of procedures backed by a new responsibility structure within four weeks of the inspectors’ visit.

The Trust has made significant changes to the leadership of the school.

At the time of the inspection the joint heads, supported by the executive head, had already introduced the required strategies to ensure pupils feel safe in school.

The pastoral system has been restructured with additional staff appointed so that any issues which may arise can be immediately addressed throughout the day.

Five members of the team are located in the dedicated Year Group bases and are available at break and lunchtimes.

This includes a Year 7 learning mentor and an additional head of year. The Trust is currently recruiting a number of youth workers to support its vision for the school.

There is greater teacher and leadership presence around campus, particularly during lesson changeovers to support calm movement between lessons.

2. What is the school doing to challenge behavioural issues?

An updated behaviour management strategy was implemented by school leaders at the time of the inspection and a team of youth workers has been recruited to support student engagement.

3. Is the school’s leadership team able to deal with the issues outlined by Ofsted?

Yes all points have been addressed and effective strategies implemented.

4. How soon might the school be able to lose its “inadequate” rating?

At the next inspection which should be within a year dependent on covid.

5. Does the school contest Ofsted’s statement that the school ought to go into special measures?

Our trust leaders had been in charge for a matter of weeks before the inspection.

The leadership and management of the school is already much stronger, as evidenced in the management of the lockdown period when students and families have been very well supported.