Halifax school governors challenge Ofsted ruling

Mount Pellon Primary School, Halifax.
Mount Pellon Primary School, Halifax.

A PRIMARY school is appealing against Ofsted’s ruling that it should be placed in special measures for the second time since 2008.

Mount Pellon Junior and Infants has again been graded inadequate but governors and staff disagree and have lodged a complaint about the inspection process and report.

Since the Halifax school emerged from special measures in December 2009, teachers and leaders have made many changes.

“Although we do not believe we require special measures, we are committed to continuous improvement” said head teacher Janet McPhail.

“Most of the aspects the inspectors say we need to improve are already part of our development plan and we will continue to work on them,” she said.

Councillor Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) who has been closely associated with the school for several years, said: “It is becoming clear all over the country that blatantly unfair school inspections like this are now little more than a way for the government to force schools like ours down the academy route.

“The community and the school have worked together brilliantly over the last three years. If they think we are a pushover, they are wrong.”

Three Ofsted inspectors spent two days at Mount Pellon in March.

They decided it was not providing an acceptable education for the 586 pupils, most of whom are from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The inspectors described teaching as inadequate, pupils’ behaviour as inadequate along with achievement and the leadership and management of the school.

“Leadership capacity is not developed enough, partly because of turbulence in staffing.

“Pupils, including the disabled, those with special needs and English as an additional language, do not make the progress they should,” said the inspectors.