THE headteacher of a failing Basingstoke school has left after it was graded as “inadequate”.
Dominic Geraghty quit leading Grangeside School after it was put in “special measures” by education watchdog Ofsted. He was the second head in the borough to leave in January after a bad Ofsted report. Ann Berresford left Bramley Primary School, in Bramley, when it was also graded as “inadequate”.
Grangeside School, in Pack Lane, Kempshott, was inspected on November 28 and 29 last year, and a report published on January 30 graded it as “inadequate” in every area. The school caters for students who have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, some of whom have attention deficit disorder, autism or moderate learning difficulties.
It has 58 pupils on roll. The watchdog reported that in 2011, only one student made the expected progress from Key Stage 3 to 4. The report from inspectors stated: “The poor behaviour seen in most lessons means that the majority of students do not, or cannot make progress.
“Too many refuse to work or choose to disrupt lessons. This means that others cannot listen or get on with their work.”
Inspectors said that the teaching seen during their visit was “inadequate in nearly all lessons” and that teachers’ expectations of what students could do were “too low.”
The report said that there was poor behaviour in lessons, adding: “Inappropriate actions such as lying across or standing on desks, running in and out of lessons and making loud, verbally abusive comments frequently disrupt learning.
“A high number of students are out of class, banging or kicking doors and disrupting lessons. Most students do not appear to want to learn. Many refuse to work at all or do very little. Some of the poor behaviour is in response to weak teaching.”
A significant number of students joined the school in Years 8 to 11 since May last year, which inspectors said “unsettled many classes.”
The inspectors added: “Although all of the students attend the school because they have behavioural difficulties, none of the individual education plans seen contained targets to help them manage their behaviour.”
Although attendance remains low at the school, the report said it has improved since the last monitoring inspection in April 2012, when the school was inspected for improvements since it was graded as “inadequate” in September 2011. At the time, the school had undergone a major review of staffing, partly as a result of addressing a large deficit budget inherited from the school’s previous role as a pupil referral unit.
The report said that governors were “surprised” that the overall quality of teaching, education and behaviour was “inadequate” and added: “They do not have an accurate view of the school’s performance.”
Gareth Evans, interim headteacher, said the report was “disappointing” but added that the school was addressing “all incidences of poor behaviour”. He said the school was now working with its federated school, Lakeside, in Chandler’s Ford, to “build and consolidate improvements in teaching and learning alongside maximising accreditation.”
He added: “The Governing Body and all of the staff are determined to address this situation and raise the standards at all levels for our pupils.”
Paul Scott will be the school’s new headteacher after Easter.