FENLAND: Education chiefs launch appeal against damning Ofsted inspection

PUBLISHED: 12:03 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:05 02 June 2010

Fenland Junction Yr 11 presentation evening

Fenland Junction Yr 11 presentation evening

EDUCATION chiefs have launched an appeal against a damning inspection report that has left a pupil referral unit in special measures. Students personal development, the curriculum, behaviour, leadership and management at Fenland Junction in March were al

EDUCATION chiefs have launched an appeal against a damning inspection report that has left a pupil referral unit in special measures.

Students' personal development, the curriculum, behaviour, leadership and management at Fenland Junction in March were all marked inadequate by an Ofsted inspector.

Teaching time was also described as too short, and a letter sent to students said they should attend regularly and stop smoking.

George Derby's report said: "This pupil referral unit requires special measures because it is failing to give its students an acceptable standard of education.

"The persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the unit are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.

"Improvement since the previous inspection has been inadequate. It has weaknesses in key areas, some of which are outside the control of the headteacher, which affect its performance."

Mr Derby said standards are "well below average", with around half of Year 11 students underperforming in relation to expectations.

"Behaviour which could have harmed the health and safety of others was observed at break times, and students' swearing is not addressed consistently," he said.

"Movement around the unit is boisterous at times, not helped by narrow corridors and the inadequacies of the building."

Support for students to develop healthy lifestyles was also judged inadequate, even though the unit holds the National Healthy Schools Standard.

Work has started to address weaknesses but Helen Whiter, Cambridgeshire County Council's director of learning, said: "We are challenging this report because we do not feel that it provides a fair judgement of the overall work of the unit."

Sara Rogers, chairman of the management committee, said: "The unit has made a tangible difference to the lives of many young people across Fenland and we are disappointed in Ofsted's judgement."

Headteacher Caroline Barnes added: "We will be working with the county council to address issues at the unit."

• Fenland Junction caters for 44 students aged 14-16 with severe behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.

YEAR 11 students of Fenland Junction are pictured above after celebrated success at their presentation evening, at March Town Hall.

Students, watched on by their parents, received their records of achievements, from Grahame Brownlow, the owner of Sandalwood Farm in Murrow. Students had attended the farm as part of their provision.

Special awards were also presented to Donna Stoker and Melissa Mead for their contribution to the Building Schools for the Future project, and to Matthew Baker and Justin Cunningham for their individual progress while at the school.

Most of the students leaving Fenland Junction have places at college, starting in September.

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