Salford TV school in special measures

27 November 2018, 05:26 | Updated: 27 November 2018, 05:27

drew povey

The school from the Educating Greater Manchester TV series has been put into special measures by Ofsted.

Inspectors said in a report, shared on Monday by Salford City Council, that Harrop Fold School has been found inadequate in all areas.

The school, in Little Hulton, was previously deemed good in an Ofsted report in 2013.

The new inspection report said the school is "failing its pupils" and "significant and wide-ranging weaknesses have developed over time" that require urgent improvement.

The council said the Department for Education (DfE) will now identify an experienced academy sponsor to support the school, which has 860 pupils aged 11 to 16.

The Channel 4 programme Educating Greater Manchester was first broadcast in August 2017.

Drew Povey, who was head teacher during the TV series, quit in September after he was suspended alongside three other staff members due to "administrative errors".

In his resignation letter, Mr Povey said he took full responsibility for the errors, which involved how attendance, exclusions and home schooling were being recorded, but claimed he had been unfairly treated.

Mr Povey's resignation letter on Twitter said: "I am at a loss to understand the heavy handed approach adopted by the council, which appears to have completely ignored the best interests of the students, staff and school."

Following his resignation an interim head teacher, Damian Owen, was appointed, provided by the Greater Manchester Learning Trust.

Ofsted said he has started to address the school's problems.

In a letter to parents published online, Mr Owen and councillor Kate Lewis, chairwoman of governors, said staff were disappointed by the report but determined to "improve the school rapidly".

Salford deputy city mayor John Merry said the report identified and highlighted "unsafe historic practices" at Harrop Fold school.

He said: "Practices include the inappropriate, informal exclusion of pupils, deliberate mis-recording of attendance and weak practice in staff recruitment.

"This has potentially compromised the safeguarding of pupils as leaders and staff have not been in a position to ensure that they are safe.

"I want to reassure all parents that, since the start of the September term, the interim senior leadership team provided by the local authority has stopped these practices."

Mr Merry added: "I know there is a committed and hard-working team at Harrop Fold who want to do the very best for pupils.

"They should draw positives from the report, in which Ofsted says new approaches introduced in many aspects of school life are having a real impact, even if they are at an early stage.

"It is important the whole school community gets behind the changes and works to common goals.

"There has been a lot of speculation in the community regarding hidden agendas.

"Once again I want to reaffirm to everyone that the school, governors and local authority all want the same thing - for Harrop Fold pupils to be happy, safe and achieve their best."