Troubled times for Letchworth school

THE Comet has learned that a Letchworth GC school will be deemed to be “failing to supply an acceptable level of education” following the publication of an Ofsted report.

Fearnhill School is expected to receive a report on an Ofsted inspection within the next week, and it is believed that the Icknield Way school will be given a notice to improve.

If this notice is given to the school - which would mean it would fall below acceptable standards as defined by the Education Act 2005 - it will then have one year to improve before a reinspection a year later to determine whether it should be placed on special measures.

Speaking to The Comet, Fearnhill School headteacher Jed Whelan refused to be drawn on the content of the report.

He said: “If the report is not out by the end of this week it will be the start of next week.

“It’s gone through the moderation process but until we get the full report and it’s been signed off as an official document we cannot say anything. I am sure as soon as the document is in the public domain I will be able to talk to you.”

A governor at the school, which received a ‘good’ rating at its last inspection in November 2007, also declined to comment.

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Across Hertfordshire there are currently two schools which have been given a notice to improve and one which has been placed on special measures, although none of the schools were based in Stevenage or North Herts.

A spokesman for Herts County Council said: ‘‘Regarding the situation at Fearnhill School, we’ve got the draft but there may be modifications made to that.

“When the report is released the head will call a parents meeting to discuss the findings of the report.”

Schools with a notice to improve will usually receive a monitoring inspection between six and eight months after their last inspection, where inspectors will take into account matters such as pupils’ achievements, safeguarding arrangements and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

If a school is placed in special measures it will receive extra financial support, with action taken to ensure strong leadership is provided and the quality of teaching is improved quickly, following an inspection.

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