A leaked Ofsted report claims “too little has changed” at a failing school, amid claims of a huge staff exodus this summer.
The Scarborough News has obtained a yet-to-be published report from the education watchdog, which contains damning criticisms of Filey School’s teachers, management and performance.
Filey is currently in special measures and the whistleblower who leaked the report claims the school, which will become an academy from September, is “on a downward spiral” - and could eventually be forced to close if things don’t improve urgently.
“The school would be better closed because the level of education the students’ are getting at the moment is almost nonexistent,” said the anonymous source.
“The senior leadership team are in complete denial and believe that Ofsted “have got it in for us”.
“The school is on a downward spiral and has been for the past couple of years and the students’ learning, as a result, has been affected.”
Filey School would be better closedSchool whistleblower
And the whistleblower claims that ahead of the academy change, many of the Muston Road school’s “better” teaching staff are set to quit - a claim backed up in the report.
With outgoing headteacher Dr Sue Morgan previously claiming the school struggles to lure good teachers to the area, couple with the school being prohibited from appointing newly qualified teachers, the soon to become Ebor Academy Filey could face a staffing crisis from the start.
“Many of the teachers that were rated good or above by Ofsted on their previous visit have handed their notice in and are leaving at the end of this school year leaving the teachers’ who are on ‘plans’ left,” said the source.
“‘Plans’ are interventions given by the senior leadership team when it is noticed that the teacher is struggling.”
The source added: “After the last Ofsted inspection the teachers’ have been advised by the senior leadership team different strategies to deal with behaviour issues but when the teachers try these strategies they are not backed-up by the senior leadership team in following through on the discipline handed out to the students’ for poor behaviour.
“The school have managed to fob Ofsted off on their previous couple of visits by blaming problems on supply or cover teachers but this has not been the case.
“The senior leadership team, have for too long, blamed everyone else for the schools failing, of which there are many.
The source even claims teachers have been threatened with legal action if any information is leaked to parents.
“This shows the length at which the senior leadership team and governors are going to go to cover all this up,” added the source.
“Parents and carers should be made fully aware of the situation the school is in, but they are being kept in the dark.”
The leaked Ofsted report follows the latest monitoring inspection at the end of June.
It was the third such inspection since the school became subject to special measures a year ago.
The report paints a picture of overworked management, being forced to juggle “substantial” workloads at a school in which poor teaching “rapidly” needs to improve.
Inspectors say teaching is “disappointing”, with teachers failing to properly discipline disruptive pupils - some of whom were chatting and slumped across desks during lessons.
And despite a “raft” of resources being utilised to try and improve teaching performance, Ofsted say it’s having “little discernible effect”.
The report does praise the governors for asking “challenging questions”.
It also states that attendance is on the up, especially on pupils who were frequently off.
The school had been due to become an academy last month, but the change was pushed back.
A recent investigation by The Scarborough News revealed Filey to have the worst truancy problem in North Yorkshire.
The Ebor Trust, which will take over the running of the school from the county council, said it may look at changing term times at the school to allow parents to go on holiday out of season to try and tackle the problem.
And while the trust’s made no announcement regarding school times, the whistleblower claims lessons could finish as early as 2.30pm on a Friday from September - and after 4pm during the week.
“The academy has advised all staff that the school day times are changing and have been told not to inform students or parents of these changes yet,” said the source.
“These changes to the school day start and finish times could have a knock-on effect to parents and the child-care provision they need in place.”
It’s understood that due to Ofsted’s findings, the body will need to carry out another inspection within six months.
A North Yorkshire County Council spokesperson said: “Filey School becomes an academy from September 1 with the Ebor Academy Trust which has been supporting the school since January.”
“Firm plans are in place for rapid improvement with a new staffing structure from September including the appointment of a headteacher.”