Ofsted republishes report saying free school requires improvement

Jez Stockill outside Valley Parade. Picture by Simon Hulme
Jez Stockill outside Valley Parade. Picture by Simon Hulme
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OFSTED have published a report into a free school a month after they removed it from their website “to review some of its content”.

The education watchdog has again found the One in a Million School in Bradford requires improvement, although a formal complaint has been lodged over how inspectors carried out their work.

Ofsted had published the same overall rating for the free school as last month before the report was then removed. At the time, the school’s headteacher, Jez Stockill, said One in a Million were unhappy with some of Ofsted’s processes and said solicitors were in correspondence with Ofsted.

He told The Yorkshire Post that the school is still in the process of making a formal complaint about the way in which the inspection was carried out, rather than the outcome of the report.

He added: “Ofsted has protocols of how its inspections will be carried out and our complaint related to this. We do not believe Ofsted inspectors followed the protocols correctly.”

Last month, Ofsted said the report was removed from the website while it “reviews some content”.

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A spokeswoman said: “ Minor changes were made to the report, including acknowledging that an additional visit to the school was undertaken and amendments to the number of lessons visited.

“No judgements were changed, and the overall effectiveness judgement for the school remains the same.”

The free school, which is a small secondary, was started in 2013 by the One in a Million charity which is linked to Bradford City and is based at Valley Parade.

The report found the free school’s leadership and management, teaching and pupils achievement were all good. But the behaviour and safety of pupils is rated as requiring improvement, and the school is rated as requiring improvement overall.

The report warns a minority of pupils demonstrate poor self-discipline which disrupts their own learning and that of their peers. Inspectors stated some teachers do not have sufficiently well-developed strategies to manage behaviour and rely too much on interventions from the vice-principal.

But the report also says most teaching is good and praises the school’s leaders and governors as being committed to ensuring the needs of the students are met.

It also says that disadvantaged students make good progress and that students are safe in school.

A school statement said: “The process is that for the judgment on ‘behaviour and safety’, Ofsted take the lower of the two judgments to give an overall judgment for that section – hence ‘behaviour and safety’ requires improvement.

“If then one of the four main categories requires improvement – even though the other three of the four judgments were good – then the overall judgment for the school is requires improvement.

“Despite our disappointment of the overall judgment being requires improvement we press on towards our goal of becoming outstanding.

“The actual report is overwhelmingly positive and says a lot of good things about One In A Million Free School.”

It added: “Like all schools, we are always striving for excellence and constantly aiming to improve.”

The school, run by a charity which uses sport to inspire disadvantaged pupils, had been due to open in 2012 but discovered its Department for Education funding was not being provided at the 11th hour. It opened in September 2013.