A BRADFORD school has hit out at Ofsted after it was branded inadequate following a recent Ofsted inspection.

Concerns were raised by inspectors over safeguarding, the handling of complaints and post-16 teaching at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School, in Girlington.

But the school has hit out, claiming pupil safety is of “paramount importance” at the school.

In the report, Ofsted said: “There are significant weaknesses in leaders’ actions following serious allegations about staff and cases of staff misconduct.

“The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective. Leaders’ decision-making and judgement in managing allegations about members of staff reflect significant weaknesses in the culture of safeguarding in the school.

“When allegations were made, leaders and governors investigated these concerns ‘in house’, and did not report the incidents to the local authority and other external agencies, in line with statutory guidance.

“In Post-16, over time, students’ progress has been below the national average. This has been the case for the previous three years.

“Students’ attainment is also below average compared with that of other students nationally with the same starting points.

“In maths in 2018, students made significantly less progress than the national average.”

The school was praised in some areas, include pupil progress in a wide range of subjects in the primary and secondary schools, and pupils with special educational needs and disabilities make good progress.

The quality of teaching was also said to be good overall, with teachers having high expectations of pupils, and pupils were also praised for their behaviour, attendance and conduct around school.

The school has challenged the findings by Ofsted.

Helen Roberts, chair of governors, said: “The safety and well-being of all our pupils has always been of paramount importance.

“The school incorporates robust and cohesive safeguarding strategies with stringent measures in place to support this.

“Any issues around safeguarding are always dealt with in full accordance with statutory guidance. Our dispute has centred around the interpretation of this guidance.”

“In complete contradiction to Ofsted’s findings, the local authority concluded that safeguarding at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School is effective.”

“I hope this goes some way to offer reassurance that our safeguarding provision is thorough and that we follow all Government guidance exactly as stipulated, ensuring we safeguard and promote the welfare of all our pupils.”

Kathryn Matthews, principal, added: “So much of the Ofsted report is incredibly positive and provides a true representation of our strengths in the quality of teaching and learning.

“Bradford Girls’ Grammar School prides itself on offering an inspirational learning environment in which every pupil feels valued and is challenged to reach their full potential.”