Belle Vue Boys School in special measures

Head of Belle Vue Boys, Colin Willsher, outside the school.

Head of Belle Vue Boys, Colin Willsher, outside the school.

First published in News
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A Bradford school has been placed in special measures after inspectors branded it inadequate and had standards that showed "little sign of improvement."

The highly critical report into Belle Vue Boys School in Heaton was released yesterday and gave the school the lowest rating in all four categories.

Immediately after the report was published, headteacher Colin Willsher released a statement reassuring parents that the school was doing "everything it can" to raise standards, including an external review of how it is run.

Inspectors visited the school, which has 526 pupils, early last month. The report says: "This school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education, and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure necessary improvement."

Bradford Council had replaced the school's governors following poor performance in 2011, installing an interim executive board in its place. However the report said this board had still not done enough to improve standards.

Heavily criticised is the behaviour of pupils, with the report saying: "A significant minority demonstrate scant regard for rules, respect for their environment or courtesy to themselves and staff.

"Several examples of such behaviour were witnessed during the inspection including students swearing and shouting out negative comments about the school."

It said some students were worried others would make fun of them if they work hard.

Referring to the IEB installed by the Council, the report said: "They have not challenged senior leaders well enough about the school's performance, and hold them to account for the school's decline."

Mr Willsher said: “We have taken action to address the issues that the report highlights and recognise that change at a rapid rate is required to make these improvements.

“I’d like to reassure all parents and carers of boys at the school that we are working with the local authority to do everything we can to make the necessary rapid improvements.”

He said the school would hold a "thorough review of standards and expectations throughout the school" – including a review of the work of the Interim Executive Board, from an external consultant. There will also be additional staff training and additional lessons for Year 11s.

Michael Jameson, Strategic Director of Children’s Services at Bradford Council, said: “It is imperative that the school improves at a rapid rate. We are working closely with local partners to implement a local solution for the school that will bring the fast improvement in performance that is required.

“We welcome the external review of governance that has been arranged by the school.

“The report does acknowledge that the IEB which was established by the council does ‘offer strong support, are astute in their views, and show a great determination and passion to drive improvements at a much faster rate’ but we acknowledge that standards have not improved fast enough.”

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