by Press Officer on 5 February, 2013
West Sussex Academy Watch are saddened but unsurprised by the latest Ofsted report which finds the leadership and management of Worthing High School to be ‘inadequate’, resulting in the school being placed in special measures.
Linda McVeigh, a parent of a child currently at the school and a spokesperson for the group said “our campaign has repeatedly warned over the last ten months that the pursuit of academy conversion is a costly distraction, and that structural change does not lead to better results.”
Linda continued “The leadership of the school will tell stakeholders that as a new academy they must be given time to succeed. For the sake of all the pupils, staff and parents attached to the school we sincerely hope it does. Nevertheless, this must not mask the fact that it is the present leadership that, in pursuit of this academy folly, has presided over this decline and is now deemed to be failing.”
Worthing High School converted to a trust school in 2009 which marked the beginning of its departure from the Local Education Authority. This decision was lauded by the leadership at the time as a vehicle for excellence which would result in the school being awarded ‘Outstanding’ status by Ofsted. (Worthing Herald, 01/05/2009). “In fact” says Linda McVeigh, “the school’s overall Ofsted rating has dramatically declined since, slipping from ‘Good’ in 2009 to ‘Satisfactory’ in 2011, and now it has hit rock bottom. These experiments with the school’s structure constitute an act of gross incompetence.
West Sussex Academy Watch has serious misgivings about the Ofsted system of grading schools and we are sure that the Ofsted rating does not reflect the real life experience of the school for all of its staff, pupils and parents. Nevertheless the school’s own leadership has used it as a barometer for success. By their own measure they have failed. And it is all these stakeholders that have suffered as a result. Parents at the school have been telling West Sussex Academy Watch they want to see the Chair of Governors take responsibility for this mess and resign.Leave a comment