Brighton school says critical Ofsted report fails ‘common sense test’

Posted On 23 Dec 2014 at 5:30 pm

A Brighton secondary school has submitted a formal complaint to Ofsted after an inspection and critical report by the watchdog.

The school said that the report “failed the common sense test” and the governors had misgivings about the way the inspectors carried out their duties.

The Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) inspection report was published today (Tuesday 23 December).

It said that the school “requires improvement” – the third lowest out of four possible verdicts – after inspecting the school on Wednesday 3 December and Thursday 4 December.

Ofsted delivered the same judgment when it last inspected the school two years ago.

The school said: “BACA was disappointed with the overall judgment of requires improvement.

Dylan Davies

Dylan Davies

“The governing body of the academy have submitted a robust rebuttal against the process and conduct experienced during the inspection in the form of an official complaint and expects to hear back from Ofsted in the new year.”

BACA principal Dylan Davies, who joined in January, said: “The staff at BACA are proud of our school and determined to further develop the academy for the benefit of our students and the wider community. We thank everyone for their support.”

BACA’s chair of governors Dr Peter Kyle said: “Educational improvement has been at BACA’s heart from the beginning, driven by unstinting commitment by teachers, students and our sponsor.

“That’s why academic achievement has more than doubled, the gap between pupil premium and non-pupil premium students has closed and attainment in subjects like English are far exceeding the national average.

“We know more than anyone, therefore, that continuous improvement is required by all schools and accept many of Ofsted’s findings.

“However, governors unanimously felt that the recent inspection did not sufficiently set the need for improvement firmly enough into the context of significant achievement at the school.

“Put simply, the outcome of this inspection has failed the ‘common sense test’.

“Governors also have significant misgivings around the tone and conduct of inspectors as they dispensed their duties.

“In the interests of defending the astonishing commitment of BACA students and staff, the governing body have taken the tough decision to challenge aspects of this inspection.

“A formal complaint has been submitted to Ofsted and we eagerly await its outcome.”

While many schools complain about Ofsted inspections and challenge the verdicts, it is rare for the watchdog to revise the grade that has been given. It may return earlier than otherwise planned to carry out a reinspection.

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