Alfreton school achievement “woeful” says Ofsted

Alfreton Schools Funding Cuts. Alfreton Grange School.
Alfreton Schools Funding Cuts. Alfreton Grange School.

A blighted school whose head is currently suspended under investigation has been placed in special measures by Ofsted.

The education watchdog branded achievement, quality of teaching, leadership and management at Alfreton Grange Arts College as inadequate, and described science achievement as “woeful”.

In his report, inspector Ian McNeilly said: “There has been a huge turnover of staff in this department.

“One student had 14 different teachers. All groups of students have underachieved compared to national averages.”

Results of the September inspection, released this week, come after the Derbyshire Times reported Alfreton Grange paid out £223,999 over the last academic year on supply staff.

Last year the school’s GCSE results in science were in the bottom 20 per cent of schools in the country

Acting head, Christine Hill – who the report credited with raising staff morale since her appointment on July 22 – said: “We do all we can to make sure a high standard of teaching is in place when staff are off sick.

“Itwas disappointing that overall, results for our science GCSE students weren’t as high as we would have hoped.”

She added: “We are fully aware of the issues facing the school and are committed to giving all our pupils the education they deserve.

“We will build on the school’s strengths to ensure we remove barriers to learning and achievement for all our students.”

Chair of governors Mary Kerry added: “We fully support Mrs Hill and we are completely committed to ensuring all our students get the best possible education.

“We are working together to do everything necessary to address the points raised in the inspectors’ report as quickly as possible.”

The inspection recommended the school – which has 653 pupils aged 11 to 18 – improves teaching to challenge and engage students, raise achievement of all groups, improve behaviour and safety by providing training for teachers and improve effectiveness of leadership and management.

Cllr Jim Coyle, deputy cabinet member for children and young people at Derbyshire County Council, said: “It’s a worrying time for parents when a school is placed in special measures.

“Our education advisors have been working closely with the school and have arranged for an experienced senior leader to provide practical support to the acting head.

“I’m confident that with the right team in place the school will improve quickly.”