‘Deeply disappointed’ staff accept Chesterfield school must ‘change and improve’ following Inadequate Ofsted rating

Brookfield Community School.
Brookfield Community School.

‘Deeply disappointed’ staff at a Chesterfield school have assured parents they are doing ‘everything they can’ to turn round a concerning Ofsted rating of ‘inadequate’ with ‘serious weaknesses’.

Brookfield School, which was inspected in May, received the rating today (Monday, July 9) and have hit back at the criticism, insisting the school ‘remains strong’ with academic outcomes above the national average.

The report found the Chatsworth Road school had dropped since it was awarded a ‘Good’ rating in 2014- with overall effectiveness found to be ‘inadequate’.

Recently appointed chair of governors, and a parent of children at the school, Justin Thacker, said: “Brookfield remains a strong school.

“As the inspection report itself notes, academic outcomes are above national average, attendance is above national average, pupil destinations are better than national average and students feel proud, safe and enjoy attending the school.

“We do not believe that the Ofsted inspection has fully reflected all of the educational successes that are being achieved at Brookfield.”

But Mr Thacker said the school accepted that there were ‘weaknesses that need to be tackled’.

“These relate primarily to our safer recruitment practices and our use of pupil premium money,” he added. “The Ofsted judgement would appear to be based on these findings in particular.”

Newly appointed and acting headteacher Richard Cronin said: “While deeply disappointed with Ofsted’s judgement, we recognise that the school must change and improve.

“We would like to reassure parents that we have taken immediate action to address the key concerns raised by Ofsted during their inspection regarding safeguarding and safer recruitment.

“In addition, we also accept the need to be clearer about the use of the pupil premium and catch-up funding.”

The report found ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’ to be inadequate, with quality of teaching, personal development and outcomes for pupils all requiring improvement.

But the report also acknowledges positives about Brookfield- these include pupils feeling safe in school, pupils leaving school with attainment above the national average and ‘good’ sixth form teaching.

“The school would like to assure parents that the staff, senior leaders and governors are doing everything they can to turn this outcome round, and at this difficult time they ask for their continued support and commitment to work with the school in achieving this,” said a spokesman.