Kings Science Academy: MP David Ward calls for experts to be brought in

MP David Ward

MP David Ward

First published in Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Expert outside help should be brought in to help turn around a Bradford free school that inspectors say still needs improvement, according to a Bradford MP.

Kings Science Academy in Lidget Green was told last year by Ofsted it required improvement. Last month the watchdog carried out a follow-up inspection.

School inspector Jane Austin says in the latest report: “Senior leaders and governors are not taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement.” She added there were not enough experienced staff.

Principal Sajid Raza was arrested in January on suspicion of fraud following an audit of school finances and has been released on bail. Haroon Hussain is now acting principal.

Of 29 teachers starting at Kings in September, 19 were either trainees or newly qualified and Ofsted said that of the governors only chairman John Bowers had any expertise in education.

The report recommends the school secures “additional, experienced leadership at the most senior level,” recruits more experienced teachers and sets milestones to measure improvement.

It said there had been some improvements since the inspection last May, including improved links between the academy and other schools.

But Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward called the report “worrying” and said outside experts should be brought in to improve the school.

He said: “The latest update is a sad indictment of the quality of management and teaching and their ability to make progress.

“Ofsted’s strong words are not being met with strong action. This is a school with deep-seated and continuing problems, particularly around senior management and the quality of teaching.”

Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway said: “The whole project has been a shambles. The only thing that can be done to protect the children and parents is for a completely new trust board to be set up.”

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