Sandown Bay Academy goes into Special Measures (updated to include report)

The widely-held rumour has been confirmed by the Chair of Governors.

“Bitter disappointment” are the words used by the Chair of Governors at Sandown Bay Academy to describe news that the school will go into special measures.

sandown-bay-academy-logo-230The Long-held and widely spread rumour was confirmed to parents this weekend in a letter from the Chair of Governors and Director of Education at AET, following an Ofsted Inspection in January.

The Academy got in touch with OnTheWight near the end of last week to let us know that they would be officially releasing the report on Monday afternoon.

News of the Inspection results leaked to the media once parents opened letters Saturday morning.

The news follows Cowes Enterprise College being put into Special Measures two days after the Sandown Bay Academy inspection.

Our thoughts are with pupils, parents and staff at the school.

Ofsted confirm ‘Inadequate’ rating
Update 4.3.2013: The Ofsted Inspection Report has now been made public and is embedded below for your convenience.

Sadly for the pupils and staff, it rates the school ‘inadequate’ in all areas.

Ofsted report the school should go into Special Measures due to :

  • Students’ achievement during the academy’s first year was not good enough. In particular, they did not make enough progress in English and mathematics.
  • Teaching is not good enough to speed up students’ progress and make sure they achieve the best GCSE results possible.
  • Teachers’ absence is hampering students’ progress, especially in English.
  • Too many lessons are interrupted by poor behaviour.
  • Too many students and parents do not have confidence that leaders tackle bullying effectively.
  • There are wide gaps in achievement between different groups of students. Girls do better than boys. Students eligible for support from the pupil premium do not do as well as others. These gaps are not closing quickly enough.
  • Some students who are disabled or who need extra help do not do as well as they should.
  • Subject leaders vary in how effectively they raise achievement and improve teaching.
  • The sixth form requires improvement. Achievement varies too widely across different subjects and courses.
  • During its first year the academy’s leaders did not do enough to secure good achievement and teaching.

Sandown Bay Academy has the following strengths

  • The interim principal has put the right systems and procedures in place to bring about improvement, but these have not yet resulted in good enough teaching, achievement or behaviour.
  • Students who are supported by The Cove, the specialist centre for students with autistic spectrum disorders, are well provided for and make good progress.

    Click the full screen icon (the arrows) to see the report in a new window at full size.


Sunday, 3rd March, 2013 6:58am



Filed under: Education, Isle of Wight News, Ofsted reports, Sandown, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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39 Comments on "Sandown Bay Academy goes into Special Measures (updated to include report)"

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Tony Suckling
It would be good to see how all the other secondary schools would fair in the light of the changes that have happened over the past 2 years with a two tier system.Other AET schools on the mainland seem to not have any trouble at all ofsted reports and that tells me that when we did go to a two tier system there was not enough thought… Read more »

Guardian report this weekend about Academy Schools citing that there is widespread failure being disguised.

surprised the chair of governors is ‘bitterly disapointed’ is strange as the this report is no surprise to anyone and the school has been failing since reorganisation

Mr A
Hearing this is so sad for the schools. My child goes to Newport C of E and the other week we were told that this school is under acheiving and is in the lower 2%. Can’t remember if that’s for the island or UK. I do think the government should now step in and look into this because it seems to show something is seriously wrong with… Read more »
I do not believe it
Mr A’s comment announcing – “it seems to show something is seriously wrong with the way our schools are being run on the island” – well, you’re dead right there Mr A! My wife and I live in an area close to three island secondary schools and the daily procession of foul-mouthed, litter-dropping scruffy youths passing our house on the way to and from their educational establishments… Read more »
Ian Young

I live near Cowes Enterprise College and whilst there may be many things wrong with this establishment I must say the students are well behaved look very smart as they pass by my window every morning, they really deserve better.

‘I do not believe..’@ It’s a very pertinent point you raise there about your friend moving from the island because of the poor education system. How many others are thinking/doing the same? Those in charge need to wake up quick to the bigger picture – there’ll be a brain-drain on the island and even less reason for businesses to set up in the future, as there won’t… Read more »
Ms F
As a parent with a child at the school and another due to go in September this is incredibly disappointing. I believe that changing to a two-tier system was the right thing to do, However it was handled incredibly badly by the Local Authority who clearly couldn’t wait to jettison the responsibility of the Island.s secondary schools. With all the understandable negativity that comes with these things,… Read more »
Mark L Francis

I keep seeing advertising posters for schools on bus shelters. Never mention special measures on them & why do they need to advertise anyway?

Culture Club
I agree that there are some great things going on at the school that need celebrating and I will be interested to read the entire report. My daughter is currently in the 6th form and is well supported by some great teaching and she feels she is able to approach any of her tutors if she has a problem. They have never turned her away, whatever time… Read more »
It is a shame that Sandown has gone into special measures, but is there much of a surprise? The organisation of transforming the school into an academy was bound to have an effect, and with 1,000 extra children? As for behaviour, even as a student at sixth form, even I wonder what behavioural measures there are. But these days, many children mouth off at teachers and have… Read more »
patsy lacey
This news is just fulfilling Councillor Barry Abrams statement to the County Press a year ago that all the Island’s secondary schools would go into Special Measures following Ofsted Inspections. The Island has a problem but it is not insoluble. Is it beyond the bounds of reality that because there is an Island wide problem, it could need an Island wide answer. Apparently Cowes were given £50,000… Read more »
Tidy Turner
Face up to it, Sandown High has been a disaster for ages and people know it. The achievement rate across the board has been dismal. The discipline has been dismal. Teachers have been stuck with a curriculum that does not add value to necessary skills for work. GCSE Maths does not meet the standards required for a technical age, not only is basic numeracy low but higher… Read more »
“Well, Technology, what woodwork or metalwork skills are taught these days?” The school runs an excellent set of courses in Electronics, Resistant Materials, Food Technology and Graphics. I have personally seen some of the excellent work which comes out of the technology department at sandown, and I know for a fact that it is all students own work, with plenty of guidance and help from teachers, but… Read more »
Mean old Engineer
In years gone by kids were prepared for work with proper carpentry making mortis and tenon joints as well as dovetail. In metal work bench work and machine work prepared it people for toolmaking. Do they do this at Sandown? Do they do woodwork GCSE or is it the broad technology? In electronics do the kids know the workings of a transistor or the science of a… Read more »
yes, mortice and tenon joints are covered in detail, along with dovetails, lap, comb, halving, bridle and all other joints. In electronics not only do the kids learn how a transistor works, but also how to program PICs, how to build monostables and astables, how to use op-amps, counters and logic. Motors and generators are covered briefly at gcse and in more detail at A-Level, along with… Read more »

I have to take issue with you here the school teaches all three sciences separately and has some excellent teachers doing so – likewise the English department. I know this as I have three children at the school. I worry that the frankly shocking lack of support for the good teachers will encourage more of them to move away and leave us high and dry……


Does anyone know what’s going on at the back of the school? There’s a barrier of trees between the golf course and school, with a largish area of scrub on the golf course side cut down.

Mean old Engineer
Crikey!!! These 16 year olds are coming out knowing how to programme Programmable Logic Controllers!!! Wow, I am impressed. They also understand astable and monostables and I suppose various other circuits too. No doubt they up to speed with Boolean Algebra.Using Operational Amplifiers is no mean feat.It seems to me that if the 16 year olds can do all of this they must have a really good… Read more »
I dont think anyone is bending the truth, but it seems clear that you dont really know what you are talking about. The technology department at sandown is excellent. However one department, or even several departments being excellent might not prevent a school going into special measures. Ofsted often observe only 20 minutes of a lesson and expect to see all students progressing. This sometimes is simply… Read more »
Mean old Engineer
I am sorry if I appear mean in this debate but people on the inside often try to pull the wool over the eyes of the people on the outside. I have been involved in engineering for a long time but sometimes you do have to look back.I appreciate that the modern environment needs modern approaches, but some basic tried and tested things have to be acknowledged… Read more »
I think your characterisation of my comments as bamboozling is frankly ridiculous. As I have clearly said twice now, students DO learn basic skills. Sandowns furniture craft course suits those who are less academically minded, and there are also courses in construction run on the old sandham middle site. No, not every student turns things on a lathe, but then again every student has the opportunity to… Read more »
P Lacey
Laudable as the above comment is, facts have to be faced. We are a small island with a low crime rate. We have few children whose second language is English and yet by all the standards which are commonly applied to schools, our education system is abysmal. The Isle of Wight is second to bottom in the 2012 GCSE league table and not much better in preceding… Read more »

At the risk of repeating myself the real problem on the Island is a lack of aspiration by so many students. Unless this gets turned around things will not improve.

We need also to think about what work on the Island is available to youngsters to encourage them to achieve more.

Low aspiration is not the cause of the problem, it is the consequence of the problem. I can see that this is what you mean and I’m not having a go, it’s just that if we frame ‘the problem’ as being the attitude of young people, we risk demonising an entire generation whilst we, who can take action, effect change, do nothing but twitch our curtains and… Read more »

I’m sorry, but as an Island we don’t have a low crime rate overall. Violent crime is becoming a problem here both in Newport and Ryde compared nationally.

These comments have greatly been focused on the technology department and woodwork – the technology department at Sandown may well be very good, but the rest of the situation is still bad – the behaviour, the management, the overall success (or lack of at the moment) of the school. As a student there, I can see it gradually deteriorate day by day, and with the attitude of… Read more »
Mean old Engineer
Yes, sorry about monopolising the debate but the techy people get very protective about their stuff. They are not the be all and end all of the issue – all old school are not dinosaurs.There is some good to be learned from experience and other subjects,after all we didn’t fail, but we know nothing do we? Anyway I’m not interested in having the last word, so I’ll… Read more »
Billy Builder
Unfortunately I believe that the education system generally has been going in the wrong direction for some considerable time, in that rather than developing an integrated system that meets the needs on the local community and can prioritise for local needs, we have an ever fragmenting system. That is, back in the good old days all schools (with the exception of a few private schools) were run… Read more »

What you have to understand, is that if there are no jobs, then all the poor people will move off the island, making room for all those rich DFL’s. We’ll be alright then, won’t we David ?

Billy Builder
When you look at the proposal to outsource the Councils Education and Children’s Services to Hampshire CC, you will note that two posts will be made redundant, the Deputy Director of Child Welfare (post holder compromised out of the IOWC a couple of weeks ago) and the Deputy Director of Education (post holder currently suspended on trumped up misconduct and/or negligence charges). If this proposal is voted… Read more »
Culture Club
Having read the report now, it seems the main issues are behaviour, lack of strong management and inadequate teaching. Inadequate teaching stems from a lack of support and encouragement from above and as the report says, many teachers are seeing their pay not increased due to a failure to “meet targets”. (Which I assume means the number of students not achieving their grades) This can be due… Read more »
I think for a lot of parents this has not come as shock but more of a sadness that still no one listened to us. I have been constantly battling to get both my sons into sets where there is no disruption and where they can learn and have been shocked at the lack of permanent teachers and the lack of homework because too many substitute teachers… Read more »
Island Monkey

As with his recent ‘triumph’ handing over children’s services – it’s common knowledge that David Pugh is also working on handing over control of our failing schools to a mainland authority.

What he and his dim Tory colleagues seem to miss is that if Hampshire or Kent are running these council services – what is the point of the IOW council?


Will it matter to the current leaders, Island Monkey? They’ve had their go, have been drawing their dividend in various ways, they may not mind never seeing the Island again, so why would they care?… I hope I’m wrong.


Congratulations IWC, Pugh, Beynon – you’ve trashed what was a fantastic school. Brilliant.

Ryde and Wight Trades Council: Sandown Academy and other schools put into Special Measures has to be seen as an attack on our Public Sector Education and the also upon Teachers. The Teachers should respond to this crisis by getting organised and sending NUT, NASUWT and ATL delegates to the Trades Councils for support from the rest of the Trade Union Movement on the Isle of Wight.… Read more »

so, RTUC what was the excuse when education was in the public sector? The IW has been bottom of national league tables for as long as I can remember. We’ve had a collection of poor Heads and even poorer teachers. A massive clear out is what is needed.


A Peripatetic Pogrom Per se?

The history of education for the vast majority can only be appreciated on the basis of public. Until 1870 all schools were charitable or private institutions, but in that year the Elementary Education Act 1870 permitted local governments to complement the existing elementary schools, to fill up any gaps. The Education Act 1902 allowed local authorities to create secondary schools. On this basis Education can only be… Read more »