Leeds school ‘requires improvement’

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Free school Khalsa Science Academy in north Leeds has been rated ‘requires improvement’ for the second time since opening in 2013.

Ofsted inspectors, who visited in June, highlighted the “significant staff turbulence” at the school, which they said had prevented “consistently good teaching”.

The Sikh ethos school moved to its permanent home in Alwoodley in January this year after originally being based in a converted sports centre next to a temple in Chapeltown.

It currently has four year groups, from reception to Year 3, but the Ofsted report said all but one class are taught by staff on temporary contracts.

Acting headteacher Davender Bahi was praised for her leadership but inspectors said a lack of support for her was hampering the school’s ability to improve.

The report said: “The school’s ability to improve is hampered because too much responsibility for doing so rests on the shoulders of the acting principal.”

However, the school was rated ‘good’ in three categories - personal development and behaviour, outcomes for pupils and early years provision.

The inspectors wrote in the report: “Pupils are well behaved. They love school and want to do well. They show positive attitudes to learning. Attendance is improving rapidly.”

The school has been told by Ofsted that it must improve leadership and management, including governance, and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

Free schools were introduced in 2010 under the then-government’s Free School Programme, which enabled parents, community groups, faith groups and others to establish schools funded by the state, but independent of local education authority control.

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