MP seeks ‘urgent’ meeting with Lodge Park bosses after Ofsted said pupils were ‘failed’

Lodge Park School was judged inadequate
Lodge Park School was judged inadequate

Corby’s MP has expressed his concern over Lodge Park Academy’s ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report.

The school, and academy sponsor the David Ross Education Trust (DRET), were said to have ‘let down’ pupils at the Shetland Way school which has been placed in special measures.

Now MP Tom Pursglove has now spoken out following the release of the report last week.

He said: “I am obviously very concerned to hear of the reports relating to the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection of Lodge Park Academy.

“We all want the very best education for our young people, and I have asked for an urgent meeting with the executive principal to discuss this report and to hear what steps they intend to take in order to address the concerns raised.

“Having been comprehensively educated locally, I know just how important a good education is in order for every child to succeed – an ambition we all share for the next generation.”

David Ross, who chairs DRET, made a personal £3,000 donation to Mr Pursglove’s 2015 election campaign.

The Northants Telegraph can also reveal that the regional schools commissioner has now been drafted in to help Lodge Park Academy back on its feet.

Acting on behalf on the secretary of state for education, regional schools commissioner Martin Post is now working with the school.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The regional schools commissioner is working with Lodge Park Academy to ensure that it has the necessary support to improve.”

In their Ofsted report, inspectors said that they had seen pupils jumping on other students and pushing them into people, including one adult.

The report, which said the Shetland Way school was inadequate in four out of five areas, said that teaching is poor and that parents are concerned about many aspects of the school. It added that there are too many supply teachers delivering ‘poor’ lessons and that the school’s 895 pupils consequently show little interest in learning.

It stated: “Trustees have let down successive cohorts of pupils by failing to secure permanent, effective leadership for the school, or to improve the quality of teaching.”

However, it did have some praise for new principal Robert Sloan who joined the Shetland Way school in January.

The report said: “The new executive principal has an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. He has introduced strategies to challenge poor pupil behaviour and improve the quality of teaching.”

The school has now been asked to carry out two external reviews into aspects that Ofsted inspectors found concerning: governance and the spending of pupil premium.

Although a school spokesman was unable to tell the Northants Telegraph when these reviews might take place, a statement said: “Following an external governance review at Trust level, we appointed a new academy scrutiny committee in November 2018 to increase the level of rigour and challenge the school faces. A review of governance at the school will be included in our post-inspection action plan, the findings of which will be used to strengthen the governance of our school. A review of pupil premium will also be part of our post-inspection plan.”

Last week, bosses from DRET said that they would take the Ofsted findings and responsibilities to students and the community ‘very seriously’, adding that they offered their full support to the principal, they said they were ‘absolutely committed’ to improving outcomes for pupils.