ONE of Bradford’s biggest schools has pulled itself out of special measures.

Hanson School in Swain House was given a scathing Ofsted report in 2015, when it was judged inadequate, with inspectors saying the secondary could not “guarantee pupils’ safety in the main school”.

Ofsted returned to the school last month, and judged that Hanson had done enough to lift it out of special measures.

However, in their latest judgement inspectors say the school, which currently has more than 1,500 pupils, still “requires improvement” in every category.

The school has gone through a turbulent few years – two academy chains that had signed up to take over the school subsequently pulled out, and last year it was revealed that the school had run up a deficit of more than £1.8 million.

Hanson had only come out of special measures in 2013 before being placed in the category again two years later.

The Ofsted report points out: “The school has been in special measures for five of the last seven years. During that time, the regional schools commissioner brokered support from three academy trusts and the school has had eight head teachers.

“Unresolved contract issues to do with premises, including a large legacy of debt, have prevented the school from becoming an academy. The Department for Education and the local authority have failed to overcome these financial and legal difficulties for the past seven years. During this time, temporary support from different academy trusts and numerous changes of head teacher have prevented long-term strategic planning, limiting the effectiveness of leadership and management and contributing to a slow pace of school improvement.

“It is uncertain when Hanson School will become an academy or whether it will remain a maintained school.”

The school is currently working with Leeds-based Gorse Academies Trust to turn its fortunes around.

Ofsted’s latest report says: “The head teacher and senior leadership team have improved the quality of behaviour and the quality of teaching and learning. The current partnership with the Gorse Academies Trust is providing valuable support and the pace of improvement is rapid and secure. Improved teaching led to some improvement in GCSE outcomes in 2017.

“Staff and pupils say that much improved behaviour has contributed to more productive teaching and learning. The school has banned mobile phones during the school day and pupils and parents have accepted this with little complaint.”

Head teacher Richard Woods said: “I am extremely proud of the work of the students and staff and the support of the parents in helping to earn this judgement.


“We recognise that this is only part of our journey of improvement and we are already working on the areas for improvement identified by Ofsted but it is a significant recognition of the work that has ready taken place.”

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “The head teacher, school staff and the partners working to support the school are determined to build on this to ensure that Hanson can deliver a good education for the pupils.”