A SHOCKING number of pupil exclusions have been revealed at a 'turnaround' school in Bradford, and students in the city are excluded at a higher rate than the England average.

Dixons Cottingley Academy, a secondary sponsor-led academy on Cottingley New Road, carried out 353 temporary exclusions – a rate of 45.6 per 100 pupils – in the 2020-21 academic year.

Department for Education figures show there were a total of 5,141 permanent or temporary exclusions across the 201 state schools in Bradford that year, a rate of 5.2 exclusions for every 100 pupils – above the average of 4.3 across England.

The former Samuel Lister Academy, which was judged inadequate by Ofsted in 2016, joined the ten-school group of Dixons Academies Trust in July 2018.

A spokesperson for the Dixons Academies Trust said: "Dixons Cottingley Academy is one of our turnaround schools and with that there can be a higher number of suspensions over the first few years. We fully expect that Cottingley will be in line with our other schools over time."

The schools with the highest exclusion rates in Bradford in 2020-21 were:

  • Dixons Cottingley Academy – secondary – 45.6 exclusions per 100 pupils
  • Bradford Forster Academy – secondary – 36
  • Beckfoot Upper Heaton – secondary – 35.3

At the other end of the scale, 80 schools in the Bradford area did not exclude a single pupil.

Around 37 per cent of schools across England did not suspend or permanently exclude any students in 2020-21, while almost a dozen issued more exclusions than they have pupils.

As a new academy, Dixons Cottingley has not yet received an Ofsted inspection.

Prior to its takeover by Dixon Academies Trust in 2018, the school was placed in special measures by Ofsted in May 2016.

Samuel Lister Academy, which at the time was run by the Bradford College Academy Trust and had 700 pupils, was judged inadequate in every category, with inspectors saying it was "failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education".

One of the criticisms in the 2016 Ofsted report was that "fixed term exclusions at the school were almost three times the national average".

Samuel Lister was also given a requires improvement by Ofsted in February 2014, and that report highlighted "low-level misbehaviour in lessons" and "attendance and punctuality was not as good as it should be".

Dixons Cottingley originally opened as Nab Wood Grammar School, and later became Nab Wood School. It became Samuel Lister Academy in 2012.


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