Quintin Kynaston put in ‘special measures' after Ofsted inspectors say it is inadequate

Secondary school announced plan to join academy chain after critical report

Monday, 24th April 2017 — By William McLennan

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Headteacher Alex Atherton outside the school

A SWISS Cottage secondary school is to join one of the largest academy chains in the country after the government’s education watchdog ruled that it was “inadequate”.

Ofsted inspectors, who visited Quintin Kynaston in January, said that standards have slipped in nearly every area since their last visit in 2014, when the school was told it required improvement. It had been judged “outstanding” in 2012.

The school, which is known as QK, has been placed in “special measures” by Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman.

The report said she was “of the opinion that 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 the necessary improvement in the school”.

Inspectors also identified the school’s strengths, which included the sixth form and how outside agencies were involved when “specific concerns are identified about vulnerable pupils”.

On Friday, as the findings of the latest inspection were published, the school’s governors announced that they would be joining the Harris Federation – a charity that runs 41 schools across London.

Patrick Lees, the chair of governors, said that they were “naturally disappointed” and said they would be appealing “a range of aspects of the report”.

He added: “The school has worked hard to address many of the issues highlighted by inspectors and we feel that not all of those efforts have been given the credit they deserve.”

The chief executive of the Harris Federation, Sir Dan Moynihan, said in a statement: “A Special Measures judgment from Ofsted is always unsettling for a school. We look forward to working positively with the teachers and leaders at Quintin Kynaston to build on its existing strengths and to ensure it retains its place as a popular and successful school for the community it serves.”

Of joining the Harris Federation, Mr Lees said: “Our number one priority is to deliver the best possible education for our children. To that end we have been cooperating with the Department for Education to seek to join a multi academy trust. I am delighted to say that a preferred partner has now been identified, which is the Harris Federation, a trust with an outstanding record of academic achievement. We will work with them to ensure a clear and secure future direction for the school.”

Headteacher Alex Atherton, who intends to remain at the helm, said he was “delighted that the school is joining the Harris Federation”.

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