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Littlehampton Academy put into special measures after being rated 'inadequate'
An underperforming academy has been placed in special measures by Ofsted – just weeks after the school’s principal resigned.
Littlehampton Academy, which is part of the Woodard Academies Trust, was judged “inadequate” in three out of four criteria areas by school inspectors.
The report was sent to senior staff for checks in the last few days ahead of its publication next week.
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But the reported was leaked, making the inspector’s findings public.
Speaking to The Argus yesterday, the chief executive of the Woodard Academies Trust condemned the leak and refused to make a formal comment on the findings.
Dave Bilton added: “We have no idea if this report is even the final version, as modifications were still being made very recently.
“Pupils, parents and staff should have been given the opportunity to find out the true contents of the report prior to it being published and to have a full explanation and understanding of it, including the response that the trust has already made.”
He added: “The first day back after half termis our first opportunity to do so and that was set up for all key stakeholders by letter.
“Now, during half term they are left in limbo and subject to rumours and speculation.
“When the report is released officially by Ofsted we will be able to respond to the academy community properly.”
The latest developments come after a testing few months for the academy.
Principal Steve Jewell, who was hired in April 2009, left his role suddenly on December 31 last year.
His departure was described as a shock to both staff and students just days before the start of a new term.
The school’s previous Ofsted inspection in September 2011, saw it rated as “satisfactory”.
Sarah Maynard, of pressure group West Sussex Academy Watch, said the results were indicative of a “worrying time” for local schools.
She said: “It’s clear the school has been going through a difficult period and they haven’t been able to get themselves out of it.
“We are told that academies are the silver bullet that will bring all struggling schools out of the doldrums, but they don’t. We’ve seen that clearly here. For the parents, children and teachers it must be a really difficult place to be.
“We still maintain in our group it’s about excellent teachers, brilliant management and support from the local authority that makes good schools – not these chains.
“This is a worrying time.
You just have to look up to Crawley to see what a disaster the free school has been there.
“And who is really overseeing all this? The Department of Education clearly cannot cope.”
Don’t miss The Argus next week for the full findings of the report when it is published.