Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School, in Tottenham, put into special measures by Ofsted

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by , Reporter

Tottenham’s first free school has been put into special measures after it was found to be “inadequate” in every category of its Ofsted report.

Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School, in Town Hall Approach Road, received the damning report following a visit by Ofsted inspector Ann Debono at the end of January.

It was the school’s first inspection since it was opened in September 2012 under Education Secretary Michael Gove’s flagship education policy.

The report said the Hartsbrook Free School required special measures and found 11 negative points:

  • Since the school opened, pupils have made inadequate progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Over time, teaching has been inadequate in all classes.
  • The majority of children fail to reach expected standards by the end of the early years foundation stage.
  • The teaching of phonics (the sounds that letters make) is inadequate.
  • Teachers do not have high enough expectations. Far too many pupils consistently underachieve, especially boys and the most able.
  • The needs of pupils who speak English as an additional language are inadequately met.
  • The school’s leaders have not brought about the necessary improvements to teaching and pupils’ achievement.
  • Systems to record and monitor safeguarding concerns are poorly organised.
  • Attendance is inadequate. Systems to check that pupils are safe when they are absent from school are weak.
  • The school’s view of the quality of teaching is overgenerous. It does not take into account the impact of teaching on pupils’ past or current rates of progress.
  • The local governing body has not been rigorous in monitoring the school’s performance or in ensuring that systems to record safeguarding are robust.

However the report did find that relationships between adults and pupils are positive and pupils were enthusiastic about reading at the school.

It also said there are early signs that children’s progress is beginning to improve in Year 1 and in the early years foundation stage.

A number of recommendations have been made to improve the quality of education received by its 118 pupils.

These include improving the quality of teaching, improving the quality of teaching and improving leadership and management at every level.

Inspectors found that five other E-ACT schools across the country were failing and require special measures while a further six were rated as "requires improvement".

Ofsted's regional director for the West Midlands, Lorna Fitzjohn, sent a letter of the E-ACT boss David Moran to warn that "an overwhelming proportion of pupils attending the E-ACT academies inspected were not receiving a good education."

In a statement, Mr Moran said the inspections had confirmed that standards at some of the Trust's academies were not acceptable and said he was committed to improvements. 

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