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.


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Sunday, 3rd March, 2013 6:58am



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

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


  1. Tony Suckling

    3.Mar.2013 7:34am

    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 gone into it.

    Sandown is amongst the biggest schools in Britain and that should never of been allowed to happen until it was proven that they could cope with the new system.Sounds the same as Cowes as well.
    My son goes to Sandown because the sporting facilities attracted him and now my daughter may be going there in September but she is 2 years advanced for her age and I am very concerned that the school would not be able to cope with someone of her calibre.She is on level 7 maths at the moment and level 6 english and she is only 11 years old!

    There is not too much choice for many children and we took our daughter out of state education 4 years ago only to find we could not afford the private fees so 2 years ago she went back into a state school… I just wished we had the money so that my daughter was not penalised.

    The way forward for schooling is the proposed new free schools which have smaller class sizes and are more like a private school and these I believe will start to be open for the first time in September for 11 year olds and then the school will become bigger as the years go on.

    Sandown in my opinion is just the tip of the iceberg and I feel that most secondary schools could suffer the same fete as Cowes and Sandown.

    • 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

  2. 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 the way our schools are being run on the island.

  3. I do not believe it

    3.Mar.2013 10:12am

    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 every day beggars belief. It must surely indicate that the academic and behavioural standards demanded within all the schools’ walls are either very low or totally non-existent.

    We had some Norwegian friends staying with us last autumn and their comments after witnessing the daily behaviour of these school kids produced total disbelief in their minds. They said they thought they were in downtown Detroit rather than a sleepy island off the coat of southern England.

    Some other friends of ours in Ryde, with two pre-school aged children, are so horrified and disillusioned by IW schools that they are moving to the mainland as soon as possible. He is a self employed plumber so no worries about work and she is a highly qualified scientist in the health Service and in great demand nationwide.

    What a loss to the island, losing this talented family.

    • Ian Young

      3.Mar.2013 11:29am

      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 be enough high calibre job applicants.

  4. 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, it is also important to remember th positives.
    Children can do well there. As an avid follower of the school newsletter I know that four sixth formers were offered places at Oxbridge this year, with three of them taking up places and another opting for St Andrews in the end. One other achieved four A stars in his A-levels, a first for the school and is taking up a place at Oxford to study engineering following a gap year in industry.
    There are some really dedicated staff there who work extremely hard.
    The best thing we can do as parents is listen to the plan of action that the school presents to us, challenge it where necessary, but generally support the school.

  5. Mark L Francis

    3.Mar.2013 10:51am

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

  6. Culture Club

    3.Mar.2013 12:18pm

    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 of the day it is and are always prepared to go that extra mile. I experienced this during her GCSE’s too. Many teachers gave up their holidays at Easter and May half term to give extra lessons and coaching and I really believe it made a difference to her overall grades.

    I don’t believe that the schools are to blame for the bad behaviour and foul mouthed attitudes of many of the children; that starts at home. Too many parents don’t care enough to take responsibility for their children’s behaviour or encourage them to do better at school by working with their teachers. The politicians are reluctant to blame the parents, probably because they’re scared they’ll lose too many votes, and it’s far easier to lay the blame at the teachers’ door. I have seen first-hand how the schools try to instil good behaviour in the children but without parental support, their hands are tied. The children are being failed, not by the schools or teachers but either by their own parents or those of other children.

  7. Multicoloured_Rose

    3.Mar.2013 12:33pm

    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 no respect for them anymore, leaving the teacher’s with not much else to stand on apart from giving them a detention, which also doesn’t seem to be respected as a punishment anymore.It’s a shame too, that kids who have good prospects are being let down by such a system and in some cases (not all) by other kids who would rather be doing something educational that isn’t all exams. More needs to be done to get the standards of the island’s schools up, as well as any issues that occur within the school otherwise. The government and the IOW council need to do more to get standards and education up.

  8. patsy lacey

    3.Mar.2013 4:04pm

    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 to solve their situation. That is approximately the cost of the consultancy firms hired by Medina, Carisbrooke et al.
    They all report the same problem.
    The new Oftsed criteria are based on what learners learn as opposed to what teachers teach. A new approach is required and it is achievable.We have good teachers. They do work hard. Unfortunately management is losing direction and off message.
    A small dedicated whole island unit would go a long way to resolving the problem.
    Fortunately Stephen Beynon is leaving the Island and his inadequacy can be overcome.
    P lacey

    • Tidy Turner

      3.Mar.2013 4:15pm

      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 levels of algebra and geometry are not even attempted. Other core areas are the same. No Physics, Biology or Chemistry – only General Science. In English, no Language skills taught, and other subjects? Well, Technology, what woodwork or metalwork skills are taught these days? This school is not on its own here.
      At the top the former Mr B was of no consequence, pupils didn’t even know who Mr B was!! The deputies sat on their backsides and were lost in this big sprawling spread. They did little or no teaching and the heads of department, particularly in the core areas, were also poor. Most of the decent teachers left years back. The subject knowledge of the existing teachers has to be questioned.
      How do you turn this situation around? The answer – with great difficulty. It has probably passed the point of no return. “Free Schools” are not the answer. This is falling deeper into the privatised abyss and will only end up in eventual educational oblivion; after all that would mean people running schools who know absolutely nothing about education.
      The problem with the island is that too much corruption and nepotism takes place in appointing the top spots, look at Ryde High where the head couldn’t be got rid of for ages. Look at the failures at the top of the Council with the ex-high paid education culprits only rewarded for services not well done.
      It has to be remembered the issue of running schools is fundamentally about teaching and learning. Everything in the economy starts with educated people one way or another. If we don’t have skilled labour, we have nothing. Teachers are there to deliver a decent curriculum and pupils are there to listen and learn. There cannot be the tail wagging the dog. Pupils shouldn’t be running the classroom, the teachers should. Teachers should be respected and in charge of effective discipline with the full backing of everyone.
      Appropriate forms of punishment for misbehaviour need to be put in place supported by parents, heads of departments and the justice system. At the moment teachers are too scared to do anything in fear of reprisals.
      At Sandown there has to be a total change. None of the previous heads of departments should remain. How can an English department fail? It is most unusual. Normally when other departments fail the English department comes out on top. This should be investigated. Unfortunately failing teachers should be replaced and those keeping their heads down and drawing salaries should go. The Governors and the board have not proved fit to govern. They have not recruited good teachers and have let the best ones leave. Proper professional teachers have been replaced by teaching Assistants some of whom have no skills and get stuck in front of a class or can contribute very little when sitting next to naughty boys and girls or children with learning difficulties. We have to be realistic, not all parents know what is best in education and not all parents are capable of making informed decisions. Not all politicians, business people, bureaucrats know anything about education. Who does? Who should we consult and employ? Only educationalists know best. First there are the many retired teachers who were experienced but have “got out”. They are sitting at home probably too old or refusing to have anything to do with the mess that has been created. But are we desperate enough to ask them what to do before they are lost forever, how can we turn things around? Can any be persuaded to return? Good teachers and lecturers with proven track records know what is best in the curriculum and can organise schools. Teachers have to once more be given the freedom to teach. People who actually do work at the “coalface”; skilled trades, professionals, artisans, scientists and people who have craft and technical expertise, are the ones to consult and pass on knowledge and are the ones to decide the curriculum.
      It’s almost a shame that any remaining dedicated staff should be mixed up in all of this. Unfortunately the signs do not point to much, perpetual bad results are only one indicator. Even on an island that traditionally produces good drama and music talent, Sandown is hardly mentioned in this either.
      Its almost like saying Sandown should shut up shop and start again. Unfortunately this may be the case. We cannot go on and on with more of the same. We cannot bury our heads in the sand when we know what has been happening. It’s tragic but there it is….

      • woodworker

        3.Mar.2013 4:54pm

        “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 at no stage does any teacher do the work for the students. The furniture craft course at sandown has given some students a GCSE where they have failed to get any grade in other subjects. Electronics is excellent and reflects the modern age we live in, with several students going on to electronic engineering courses at university. The head of department for technology is absolutely superb. How do I know? Because he taught me, and I would not be where I am now without him. The subject knowledge of all the teachers in every department is excellent, and if the school had replaced professional teachers with teaching assistants, they would be breaking the law, which they absolutely are not doing. The drama department has produced competitive productions for the global rock challenge year upon year.

        Perhaps before writing such sweeping generalisations on a public blog site you should check your facts, especially as pretty much everything you have written is simply wrong.

        • Mean old Engineer

          3.Mar.2013 7:07pm

          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 capacitor? This is pretty involved stuff. Is it reflected in the exams they take? Would the kids be able to answer questions on electronics or AC theory? Do kids get taught about motors and generators? I don’t think that this is in the curriculum anymore. Engineering basic skills are not taught in schools to a high enough standard are they?

          • woodworker

            3.Mar.2013 7:31pm

            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 basic systems engineering. As to the standard, what standard would you like a 16 year old to be able to work to? I have certainly taken apart enough faulty shop brought electrical items to know that the quality of some of the gcse work in electronics is the equal to or better than commercially produced items.

            I suggest those of you who are ignorant of GCSE requirements look up the relevant curriculum from any of the exam boards which offer it. AQA would be a good start. The information is publicly available.


        4.Mar.2013 9:17am

        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……

  9. 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

      3.Mar.2013 8:15pm

      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 curriculum with excellent technology and Physics.Perhaps AQA examiners are better than has been made out and Sandown shouldn’t be in Special Measures.If all teachers are delivering these things and 16 year olds are all walking out with such knowledge then one has to wonder what the fuss is all about. I wonder who is bending the truth.

      • woodworker

        3.Mar.2013 8:36pm

        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 not possible within the space of 20 minutes however good the teacher may be. Also, faliure at management level can drive a school into special measures. Perhaps you should wait for the report to be published and see what areas it details as being inadequate.
        I have no idea how good or bad AQA examiners are, and that has no impact on Sandowns ofsted report, as Im sure you know. The AQA specification is simply the one which sandown teaches, so I suggest you look it up for full details of the technology courses offered as clearly you are ignorant of the course content and prefer to believe those who would have us believe that no real learning takes place until apprenticeships. Incidentally, I have spoken with loads of people who were educated 30, 40, or 50 years ago and have said that their schooling consisted of learning by rote with little or no independent thought, doing the same task over and over until getting it right. How boring that must have been, and how little scope for imagination it must have given. Current technology courses cover design as well as making, and attempt to prepare students for specialising in a particular area at A-Level and university. Put simply, I feel the current courses are producing designers, engineers, and technicians rather than just technicians who know one way of doing things and are often not flexible enough to embrace new technology.
        Frankly, if you dont believe this to be the case (which it is), and if you think the truth is being bent (which it is not), the only way is to find out for yourself. Look at the AQA specification available on their website, or even contact the school and ask for a tour of the technology department. No, its not the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago, thank god. Sandown runs a comprehensive modern technology department and never expects kids simply to learn techniques for the sake of it, but instead applies those techniques to make them interesting to learn.

        • Mean old Engineer

          3.Mar.2013 10:06pm

          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 like basic literacy and numeracy. Also I think this applies to engineering too. I did not go to a Comprehensive school but some of the kids that did were in a better situation than me for skills. I will say, though,when I went to engineering school afterwards I was prepared with some basic training beforehand already done at school.Whilst I agree that some individual and creative thinking is essential there are some Skills that were fundamental. Many schools had engineering workshops.In these workshops there were Harrison Lathes,Milling machines and other equipment. Few kids come into engineering today and out of those that do not a few lack understanding of trigonometry and have never turned anything on a lathe.You suggest that much is done at A Level, well I’m talking about kids of 15 and 16 who were in no way academic as such but were brilliant with their hands and vocational occupations.It is not just about super technicians, Cad or architectural engineering. We have a problem in general with jobs and manufacturing.The non academic kids need something out of the system. We can’t carry on the way we have been so stop defending the indefensible.We have to solve this problem of failing schools like Sandown and we don’t need to be bamboozled by those who are supposedly in the know.

          • woodworker

            3.Mar.2013 10:24pm

            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 use CAD / CAM through the use of laser cutters, CAM routers, or vinyl cutters. Things have moved on, and a student able to design an item with CAM and cope with a CAM system has more prospects now.
            If you honestly think that schools do not offer vocational subjects and only cater for the academically able, then you are simply wrong. I strongly suggest you find out more about what schools actually do. For example, last year for the first time, sandown ran a car mechanics course. Yes, there is some academic work involved, but thats the way it is, and I defy anyone to learn something without some sort of paperwork to prove what they have learnt.

            Since you clearly think I am “bamboozling” you and “bending the truth” I see no point in continuing this. Go and find out the facts for yourself and stop assuming the media hype, stereotyping, or whereever else you have heard what you believe. Oddly enough, those in the know know what they are talking about, so if you want to talk about education, perhaps you should find out about education so that you are also in the know. Otherwise you are simply repeating unsubstantiated rubbish that simply is not true.

  10. 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 years. We now have 2 schools in special measures and regrettably they are likely to be followed by at least two or possibly three more.
    The only school which succeeds is the semi selective Christ the King.
    Even if we do not like league tables, or we do not like the new Ofsted regime, we are stuck with it.
    If someone cannot get a grip, Governors, Headteachers and Heads of Departments will be dismissed. However well meaning they are, they are failing in a big way.
    The DfE is empowered to ship in highly paid superheads and teachers. It does work, but surely we do not need to go down this road.
    LA leadership has been appalling and the culprit has jumped ship. The ruling council will probably lose their seats in May. It still leaves the problem.
    We need a joint effort from all the school leaders to take note of the Ofsted criteria and enforce it quickly.

  11. Multicoloured_Rose

    3.Mar.2013 11:48pm

    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 some of the kids, i’m not surprised some of the teachers don’t want to teach anymore, let alone the way they speak to fellow students and adults, which when i was younger, i was taught to respect. I think the overall behavioural issue should be sorted first, for the rest to soon follow suit with the hopefully increasing educational standards.

    • Mean old Engineer

      4.Mar.2013 12:37am

      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 stop now and its over to you

  12. Billy Builder

    4.Mar.2013 2:18pm

    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 by the local authority, who were able (in the better councils) to decide where best to educate a child, and resource accordingly. We now have a situation, where schools are run in a local area by any number of remote academy organisations or Trusts that only have their own interests at heart.

    But worst still for the Isle of Wight, we have a Council that now wishes to wash its hands totally of any and all responsibility for our Children’s education, and are in the process of outsourcing these capabilities to Hampshire County Council.

    This outsourcing will have two very detrimental affects. Firstly the education and well-being of our children will be the responsibility of people over the water, who will have their own issues and problems to deal with. Secondly, by outsourcing this function to Hampshire any new posts of any seniority will be given to Hampshire based officers, which will remove the promotion opportunities of all island based staff, this in turn will result in a deskilling of the island workforce.

    I would urge all Councillors of what ever political persuasion to reject this outsourcing when it is put to the vote later this month, and would urge any prospective councillor standing in the upcoming election to vow to reverse any outsourcing decision following the election in may.

    • 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

      6.Mar.2013 8:19am

      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 through by the Council together with the broader restructuring proposals that will see the demise of our beloved CEO, then the Council will be loosing two officers, Steve Beynon and Janet Newton, who will presumably leave the Council on 31st March. One assumes therefore, that from 1st April (April fools day), these ex-officers will be free to carry out some spring cleaning.

      I believe that Pandora has a very untidy box, full of dirty washing. Perhaps these two ex-officers will be able to give their respective boxes a thoroughly good airing. I’m sure that OnTheWight, the BBC, Wight Radio and other such reputable media outlets will be more than happy to oblige.

      April fools day would be a very good day to expose the fools in the Council and in other public and semi-public organisations, who have things to hide. This being the lead-up to the elections on 2nd May, things could get very interesting for messieurs Pugh, Brown, Wells, etc and well as people such as Rachael Fiddler and Keith Simmons of the Cowes Enterprise Trust.

      Roll on April !

  13. Culture Club

    4.Mar.2013 2:21pm

    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 to various factors such as a lack of knowledge, the student not revising sufficiently or doing the work required, poor parental support, inability to work in a classroom environment where there are behaviour issues, a general lack of motivation due to the current career prospects for young people or not aspiring to take a university place due to the huge debt they will now accrue. Not all of which are the teachers fault. If withholding pay is used as a stick to beat you with, alongside an increased workload and spending most of your class trying to deal with pupil’s bad behaviour, then no wonder teaching is suffering. The report also says that individual teachers are improving with support but there is not enough opportunity to see good teaching practice, so why not invest in and value your staff, then you may see improvements? However, withholding pay rises, telling experienced teachers they are a failure and not providing adequate support to improve, seems to be the way forward with this government.

    The report notes the worse behaviour is in classes where there is either a supply (a teacher that doesn’t regularly see the children) or an absent teacher (unqualified teacher or cover supervisor) present. High staff absence or turnover usually only indicates one thing; a lack of confidence with and belief in senior management.

    The real issue now though for parents on the island, is with two large schools in special measures, (Cowes and Sandown) another two with serious problems (Medina and Carisbrooke) that only leaves Ryde Academy, which has had many issues itself and is yet to receive OFSTED, or the semi selective Christ the King College. Where do we send our children if we can’t afford the fees for private schooling? It’s a shocking turn of events and the current IOW council LEA should be held accountable for this mess but as usual, they will lay the blame elsewhere, probably with the current academy sponsors, AET. And what about any comments from Andrew Turner? As a previous teacher he should be appalled at the prospect of having no decent state secondary schools available for his constituents. Could it get much worse?

  14. 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 have been used. But with over 2000 pupils its no surprise that classes are disrupted and children that want to learn are suffering. I hope the special measures will help but this may be too late for my year 10 son who is studying for GCSE’s. The school has failed him and what compensation will he get? I am now in the process of taking things into my own hands and finding alternative tutors in certain subjects with the hope that he may still get the basic GCSE’s such as Maths and English which we all know are so important. I can’t afford to send him to private school, and I can’t really afford the cost of the extra tuition but I don’t want to look back in 18 months time and regret not doing all I could to help him. I just hope that by the time my year 8 son is taking the same exams things will have improved but its a big hope! The IOW council should hold their hands up and admit that they were wrong in the re organisation. It was one thing moving to a two tier system but to merge several big schools into one was a recipe for disaster. Only time will tell what the long term effects of this will be and in the meantime its our children that will suffer.

    • Island Monkey

      4.Mar.2013 6:18pm

      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.

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

  16. 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.

    An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

  17. 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.

  18. DodgyDidger

    5.Mar.2013 8:21am

    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 seen as a success as previously it did not really exist for the Working Class.
      The present crisis can be traced back to Keith Joseph Thatcherite reforms that was unjustified with the “Standards” issue and everything was based on solving basic education through the 3 R’s.This was continued with the privatisation process and Grant Maintained Schools, Trusts, Academies and Free Schools. The process of privatisation proceeded under various pro privatisation process secretaries of State for education such as Kenneth Baker and Kenneth Clarke. It also carried on under New Labour’s, “Education, education,education” dogma.The Gove era is no different but intends to complete the degenerate process.
      So failure and deterioration is not related to Public Education but lies firmly within the privatisation process.
      Solving the problem has to return to a fully funded education system based on the public sector and deal with the current education problems that we all know exist.Solving the existing issues and mapping out a successful future has to be engaged upon by all involved.
      Politicians should keep their noses out and stop interfering as well as profiteers.Teachers should run the schools.

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