Brighton school responds to ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating by calling meeting for parents

Posted On 19 May 2022 at 12:30 am

A Brighton school has invited parents to a meeting after education watchdog Ofsted published a critical report.

The Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) plans to host a “parent forum” next week “to provide an opportunity to discuss the specific actions we are delivering to meet Ofsted’s identified areas for improvement”.

Ofsted rated BACA “inadequate” and said: “Pupils say that they do not feel safe or respected in school. Many consider bullying, racism, sexism and homophobia to be commonplace and unchallenged by leaders and staff.”

To read the full report, click here.

In a letter to parents, the school and its sponsor Aldridge Education said: “It is with great disappointment that we must inform you that the academy received an overall rating of ‘inadequate’.

“While our sixth form provision was rated ‘good’, inspectors judged other areas within the school as either inadequate or requiring improvement.

“The academy was praised for certain areas, including delivering strong careers guidance, and academic and vocational pathways, fostering a positive reading culture, and providing effective support for pupils with SEND.

“However, we are hugely disappointed by the overall outcome.

“We accept Ofsted’s judgment and would like to wholeheartedly apologise for the serious shortcomings identified in the report.

“Ensuring the highest levels of health, safety and wellbeing for all our students and staff, and fostering a school environment which is inclusive, respectful and where everyone feels safe, is absolutely paramount to us.

“The report’s findings are entirely unacceptable, and completely out of line with the high standards and expectations that the trust and academy’s new leadership team upholds.

“We are committed to improving the school and continuing the urgent action already being undertaken by BACA’s interim principal.

“These efforts are also underpinned by a school improvement plan which directly addresses the areas identified by Ofsted.

“It is important that we are transparent about the issues raised by Ofsted.”

The Brighton Aldridge Community Academy

The letter also said: “We will be hosting a dedicated parent forum on the evening of Wednesday 25 May to provide an opportunity to discuss the specific actions we are delivering to meet Ofsted’s identified areas for improvement.

“We want this to be a forward-looking and collaborative forum where we can share feedback and insights.”

As part of this, the school said, the new principal, Jack Davies, who starts on Monday 6 June, would be present for those who were keen to meet him.

The letter added: “We are confident that (our plans) will deliver effective, swift and tangible impact across all of the areas identified by Ofsted and as a trust with a proven track record of school improvement we are best placed to achieve this.

“Similarly, having support from the wider BACA community, including parents and carers, will help us to successfully and sustainably implement changes that positively impact all those involved.

“Our desire is to ensure that all students can benefit from an excellent education with a wide range of opportunities that will support them to thrive.

“We look forward to welcoming Ofsted back to the school in due course so that they can see first-hand the positive changes that we have delivered together.”

The letter was sent by Aldridge Education chief executive Jane Fletcher, BACA’s interim principal Stephanie Newman and the school’s chair of governors Paul Lovegrove.

To read the letter in full, click here.

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