Under-fire school laid bare in shock Ofsted report

First published in News

OFSTED has delivered its damning verdict on a failing school in Tilbury and placed it into special measures.

The Government watchdog laid into to Manor School’s leadership, teaching and pupil progress in its report, published on Tuesday.

It claimed pupils at Manor “do not achieve as well as they should”, “make insufficient progress because much of the teaching is not effective”, “teachers’ feedback to pupils is not helpful” and “issues with poor leadership and poor financial controls are yet to be addressed”.

Inspectors visited the school in July, their first visit since the infant and junior schools merged in September 2011.

Headteacher Alex Seaford resigned three weeks later and Thurrock Council announced last week that experienced headteacher Adrian McNeillis has been drafted in to rescue the school which looks after 600 youngsters.

Ofsted pointed out the school has been “unable to control its finances effectively”, the shameful report coming six months after a damning audit report revealed the school had no grip on its finances which caused the governing board to walk out.

In their report, the four Ofsted inspectors, led by Geoff Timms, said: “The school’s leadership has not had a strong enough focus on raising standards and improving pupils’ achievement.

“The governing body at the time of the amalgamation was unable to control the school’s finances effectively.

“Resources have therefore not been used well enough to improve the quality of teaching and learning.”

They added that while the council is now providing appropriate support, such as in appointing a new governing body, on the whole, it has failed to do so since the last inspection and did nothing to prevent it “declining into inadequacy”.

The report adds pupils’ progress in reading and writing at the school is particularly poor, with teaching inadequate and pupils not reading widely or often enough.

Teachers do not “challenge” pupils enough nor do they teach the basic skills of writing sufficiently well.

The school has now been banned from appointing newly qualified teachers.

Cllr John Kent, the council’s portfolio holder for education, declined to comment on the report but a council spokesman said: “Following the resignation of the head, an experienced interim headteacher, Adrian McNeillis, has been appointed.

“He will be working closely with governors and the council to address the areas for improvement outlined.”

James Halden, the Conservative group spokesman for education, said: “To be told that a school is failing children is beyond tragic.

“It is clear that Ofsted has good reason to put Tilbury Manor into special measures.

“However, yet again Tilbury residents and Thurrock Conservatives are left asking ‘where is the political leadership on this issue and who will take the blame for this failure?’”

The school will now be subject regular monitoring inspections from Ofsted.

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