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Teachers: Calderdale

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers were judged by Ofsted (a) not to be adhering to the school behaviour policy and (b) not to be complying with management requests at the Ridings school in Calderdale. (126495)

This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 14 May 2007:

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, for reply.

You asked how many teachers were judged by Ofsted (a) not to be adhering to the school behaviour policy and (b) not to be complying with management requests at the Ridings School in Calderdale.

Ofsted does not collect this detailed information. Inspectors observed a number of inadequate lessons at The Ridings School, and in some, the school's behaviour policy was not being followed. Other evidence, such as that emerging from discussions with support staff, indicated that children were being sent to the internal exclusion unit without earlier procedures being followed, supported the view that the problem was more widespread than those specific teachers. The school does not disagree with this judgement. However, the school inspection framework does not require—and indeed, there is insufficient time—for inspectors to observe all teachers in lessons.

Similarly, the number of staff not complying with management requests was not pursued in detail. The school’s management team, governors and the Local Authority gave this as one reason for the difficulty the school was experiencing in moving forward and the evidence seen by inspectors triangulated this view. For example, an inspector observed a lesson taught by a teacher who was not a specialist in that particular subject area. It was a very poor lesson in which there was no planning, school behaviour policies were not followed by the teacher and the work was not appropriate for the students. As a result, students made no progress in their learning. The teacher explained that he was following union guidance to not adhere to any school policy regarding planning of lessons, preparing work and following behaviour policies when teaching lessons which were not in their specialist subject area.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Jim Knight MP, Minister of State for Schools, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.