Sawtry Community College principal quits after damning Ofsted report

11:00 09 July 2014

James Stewart.

James Stewart.

Archant

A principal has quit after Ofsted found a secondary school required special measures following a damning report by inspectors.

James Stewart’s departure from Sawtry Community College, after nearly 30 years at the school, was confirmed in a letter to parents on Thursday (July 3).

Chairman of governors Peter Leaton, who thanked Mr Stewart for playing a “major role” in the development of the school, wrote that he had “tendered his resignation with immediate effect”.

He continued: “The governing body is in consultation regarding a replacement for Mr Stewart... For the remainder of this term, the current leadership team will ensure that the college operates effectively.”

Last week, in another letter to parents, Mr Stewart said he took “full responsibility” following an earlier than planned Ofsted inspection on June 4 and 5, following complaints to Ofsted which raised “serious concerns”.

The findings included that the principal and governors had “not fulfilled their responsibility to ensure that statutory safeguarding requirements” were met; some students bully others and the school’s work to reduce bullying had not been successful; systems for monitoring the welfare of students who need additional support were “insufficiently robust” to protect them from harm; the overall effectiveness of the academy had declined; and the principal and governors had not made sure staff felt “valued and supported”.

The achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching were said to require improvement.

And the behaviour and safety of pupils, was deemed to be “inadequate”.

Inspectors found that victims of bullying were “not adequately helped to deal with it” and the principal and senior leaders did not have “an accurate understanding of how much and what type of bullying occurs”.

Leadership and management was also branded “inadequate”, with just 40 per cent of staff who replied to a survey feeling the academy was well led.

Parents demonstrated a similar lack of confidence in the leadership, with a third disagreeing the academy was well led.

There were some positives, including the sixth form, which was described as good with effective leadership; the quality of teaching of English and maths was found to be improving; and the vast majority of students were said to be courteous and helpful in what was a “calm and purposeful” atmosphere.

A statement released by the school said it was “extremely disappointed” by the report. It continued: “The college does not feel the report recognises the many positive features of life at Sawtry sufficiently.

“Staff are already making significant progress in addressing a number of the issues that have been raised in this report.

“Work is ongoing, both internally and with external agencies, to address other matters by the end of term.

“All that can be done is being done to ensure students now, and in the future, receive the best education possible at Sawtry Community College.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hunts Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hunts Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hunts Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

08:24
Jordan Jones, from Muscle Monkey, in St Ives.

From designing t-shirts with friends to being scouted by major sportswear brands, a former St Ivo School pupil has reached the heights of retail success at the age of 20.

Yesterday, 08:24
Silver Award for Parental Engagement for Abbey College, Ramsey, with (front) Assistant Head Teacher Miss Hadeel Farray.

Staff at Abbey College have been presented with a prestigious award recognising their work to improve communication with parents.

Fri, 16:29
The Norris Museum, in St Ives.

The Norris Museum in St Ives is calling on residents to donate paint supplies for a decorative mural outside the building while renovations get under way.

Fri, 13:25
Councillor Richard West, of Huntingdonshire District Council, fourth from left, with officials from Churchmanor and from contractors Carters, at the Chequers Court shopping development.

Huntingdon’s long-awaited new shopping centre remains on course to be open by early next year, according to developers.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Local business directory

Cambridgeshire's trusted business finder
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hunts Post e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up