Blackpool’s South Shore Academy Rated ‘Inadequate’ By Ofsted In Highly Critical Report

An OFSTED report, published on 11th October 2023, is highly critical of Blackpool’s South Shore Academy on St. Anne’s Road. The report which categorises the school as ‘inadequate’ also places the setting in ‘Special Measures’ – the latter being the most serious category following an inspection. Special Measures schools are given on Action Plan for how they must improve, and are regularly monitored to check that they are on track. As a further consequence the Inspectorate strongly recommends that the School does not seek to appoint early career teachers

The academy, part of The Bright Futures Educational Trust, has 771 pupils aged between 11 and 16 on role. This inadequate judgement means the school is failing to provide an acceptable quality of education and care for children and will need to make significant improvements immediately.

The inspectors were concerned about many aspects of school life. For example, they wrote this with regard to pupils’ behaviour and attitudes:

  • The behaviour of many pupils around the school is unacceptable. These pupils direct inappropriate and abusive language at each other and staff. They subject other pupils to derogatory and discriminatory insults. Often, these actions are sustained in the form of persistent bullying. Sometimes, pupils intimidate others with physical aggression.
  • Pupils regularly experience a wide range of anti-social behaviours around the school grounds and during social times. This includes the use of abusive language, bullying and physical aggression. Some pupils do not have confidence in how some staff deal with such issues. This spoils pupils’ enjoyment of school.
  • As a matter of urgency, leaders must tackle the poor behaviour that has become the norm in the school. They should ensure that staff are suitably equipped to tackle unacceptable behaviour so that pupils can come to school unworried and enjoy their experiences.

With regard to attendance the inspectors stated:

  • Pupils’ attendance is extremely poor and getting worse. Absence rates have increased markedly this year. Leaders’ actions have failed to address this longstanding endemic weakness.

Looking at leadership the inspectors reported:

  • Leaders and staff do not have high enough expectations for pupils at South Shore Academy. Leaders do not ensure that all pupils attend school regularly.
  • Leaders, including members of the local governing body (LGB) and trust leaders, have failed to tackle the weaknesses in the quality of education and pupils’ attendance. Consequently, pupils’ achievement is weak. They are ill-prepared for their next steps when they leave Year 11.
  • Too many pupils do not complete GCSE courses in English, mathematics or science.

Looking at the quality of education provided by the school the inspectors said:

  • Many pupils do not receive an acceptable standard of education.
  • Teachers’ subject knowledge and expertise vary greatly. In places, they are extremely weak.
  • Teachers do not adequately consider the barriers that pupils with SEND may face when learning. This means pupils do not receive the support that they need or the help that is provided is not effective. Commonly, these pupils experience a poor-quality education.

The school now is in ‘special measures’, the Inspectorate saying: ‘In accordance with section 44(1) of the Education Act 2005, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. ‘

On a more positive note, the inspectors noted that the arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The full report many be read here:

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