Another college in special measures

Alfreton Schools Funding Cuts. Alfreton Grange School.

Alfreton Schools Funding Cuts. Alfreton Grange School.

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Government inspectors have placed Alfreton Grange Arts College in special measures after a report found the school falling short in teaching, learning and leadership.

The announcement by schools watchdog Ofsted comes a fortnight after Heanor Gate Science College was given the same ‘inadequate’ verdict.

The report, made after four inspectors visited the college in September has outlined drastic improvements needed in science, in which it described achievement as ‘woeful’.

Turnover of staff in that department has been so bad, inspectors say, that one sixth former said they had 14 different teachers.

The inspectors acknowledge the school’s ‘difficult situation’ over the past year - with the suspension of head teacher Gail Giles.

But they say acting head Christine Hill has ‘raised staff morale’ and is determined to improve the school.

Mrs Hill, who took over on July 22, said: “We are fully aware of the issues facing the school and are committed to giving all our pupils the education they deserve. We will build on the school’s strengths to ensure we remove barriers to learning and achievement for all our students, regardless of their level upon entry.

“Every child deserves to have the best possible start in life and we are already putting plans in place to raise standards.”

Councillor Jim Coyle, deputy cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I’m confident that with the right team now in place the school will improve quickly and, with news that work will begin on a new school building next year, staff and students can really begin to look to the future.”

The school, which has 653 pupils aged 11 to 18, was inspected on 25 and 26 September.

Chair of governors Mary Kerry added: “We fully support Mrs Hill.”