School blasted by Ofsted yet again as kids get away with using 'derogatory language'

Want2Achieve The Academy based in Hanley -Credit:Pete Stonier / The Sentinel
Want2Achieve The Academy based in Hanley -Credit:Pete Stonier / The Sentinel

An independent Stoke-on-Trent day school is still failing to meet the required standards after being rated 'inadequate' last year. Ofsted carried out its second follow-up inspection at Want2Achieve The Academy, based in Hanley, on March 5.

Inspectors found that "pupils’ behaviour remains variable and not consistently good", while "derogatory language" used by children sometimes goes unchallenged. Last year we reported that the school had suffered several months of "turbulence with staffing" and although three new teachers had been appointed since the previous progress monitoring inspection, Ofsted said "the implementation of the curriculum remains variable and not consistently effective".

The school - which caters for pupils aged 11 to 18 with social and emotional difficulties, who are placed there by local authorities - did successfully meet one standard related to 'quality of education provided' based on the fact "leaders have now put in place a suitable curriculum for pupils to study".

However, an additional standard under 'suitability of staff, supply staff, and proprietors' was now found to be unmet even though it had been during the previous inspection. The Ofsted report stated: "The school has not ensured that appropriate checks have been carried out on all new members of staff.

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"The school has not put in place an appropriate risk assessment and ensured that a member of staff is appropriately supervised while they are awaiting a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. Leaders have not ensured that the school’s single central record has been kept up to date."

Two areas relating to 'quality of education provided' remained unmet as well as a further two under 'welfare, health and safety of pupils' and one covering 'quality of leadership in and management of schools'. The report explains: "The school has appointed three new teachers. This is helping to provide more consistency in lessons. However, the implementation of the curriculum remains variable and not consistently effective.

Want2Achieve The Academy based in Hanley -Credit:Pete Stonier / The Sentinel
Want2Achieve The Academy based in Hanley -Credit:Pete Stonier / The Sentinel

"Pupils sometimes struggle to complete the tasks they are given in lessons because they do not have the prior requisite knowledge. Teachers are not checking pupils’ understanding consistently well to pinpoint and address gaps in knowledge. This means that pupils struggle to make connections in what they learn. Therefore, they lack secure knowledge and understanding.

"Pupils’ engagement in lessons remains variable. On occasion, pupils will listen carefully and complete the work that is set. However, all too often, the school does not help pupils to focus for a sustained period and will go off task. This slows their learning. Teachers do not always consider pupils’ special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or prior attainment when planning a sequence of learning. Not all teachers are aware of what is contained in pupils’ learning plans and how these should be used to adapt activities.

"Pupils’ behaviour remains variable and not consistently good. The school has ensured that there are positive behaviour plans in place for all pupils. However, some staff do not know how these should be used to help manage pupils’ behaviour in lessons or at social times. In addition, some pupils continue to use derogatory language that is not always challenged by staff."

Stoke-on-Trent Live has approached the school for comment.

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