Leeds school complains over ‘shock’ Ofsted report

Royds School, Oulton, Leeds.
Royds School, Oulton, Leeds.
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A Leeds school has made a formal complaint to Ofsted after it was downgraded to ‘inadequate’ in its latest inspection.

Royds School, in south Leeds, has now been judged at the lowest rating - level four - after a visit by inspectors at the end of last year. School chiefs said the overall rating was a shock after a report which included “many positive aspects” and had seen five out of the six markers graded at the higher level three - of ‘requires improvement’.

The sixth marker - the ‘safety of pupils’ - was judged inadequate and brought the overall rating down.

Ofsted’s report acknowledged “most students feel safe” but said bullying does occur and there has been mixed success in dealing with it. It also said “homophobia, swearing, name-calling and the use of derogatory language is not uncommon”.

But school chiefs dispute pupil safety is inadequate and say they were denied the opportunity to make that case to inspectors.

Chris Peat, chairman of the governing body, wrote on the school’s website: “As the report recognises, the school has seen some rapid improvement in recent months and we do not feel that this report is a fair and accurate reflection of Royds. We will continue to challenge this single sub judgement that has affected the whole report.”

Headteacher Brian Kelly, who joined the school last April, told the YEP: “During the course of the inspection so many positive aspects were identified so this final judgement was a real shock to us. It came so late in the course of the inspection, we feel we didn’t have the opportunity to discuss it and present extra evidence.

“I don’t think the judgement reflects everything we have done in the last six to eight months.”

He paid tribute to the school’s committed staff, students, parents and feeder primaries and believes the components are there for a future ‘outstanding’ school.

He said: “We have a lot do to, a lot to improve, but I believe we’ve all the ingredients to push the school forward.”

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