Beds, Herts & Bucks

'Inadequate' Burnham Park Academy 'failing pupils'

The E-ACT Burnham Park Academy Image copyright Google
Image caption The E-ACT Burnham Park Academy held a consultation about closing the school in September

A school which may close this year "is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education", a report has said.

The E-ACT Burnham Park Academy in Buckinghamshire has been rated inadequate in all areas by Ofsted.

E-ACT said it was "surprised and disappointed" Ofsted inspected the academy when its "future is uncertain".

A consultation about closing the secondary school in September was held between 30 January and 29 March.

'Weak achievement'

The inspection took place on 6 and 7 March and found the school "required special measures".

On the first day of the inspection, 15 out of 20 of the school's teaching staff called in sick

The report said: "For too long, pupils at this school have not benefited from a good quality of education. Their achievement has been weak."

It said the trust, E-ACT, had "struggled to recruit and retain" teachers and those who worked at the school "neither have high enough expectations of what pupils can achieve nor the quality of work they should complete".

Despite rating the academy as inadequate overall, Ofsted said staff "work hard to build positive relationships" and described it as "a school that cares for its pupils and their welfare".

The report said trustees decided not to produce school improvement plans since deciding to consult on closure.

Improvement plans had been replaced by "transition planning" to outline how staff and pupils would transfer to nearby E-ACT schools if the academy closes, the report said.

A spokesman for E-ACT said: "We requested that the inspection be deferred on the basis that the academy could be closing just months after the inspection was taking place - a rationale which Ofsted accepted in November of last year but somewhat inexplicably turned down just four months later.

"We struggle to understand how the circumstances of the academy's future were not considered to be exceptional enough to be granted a deferral."

Ofsted has been approached for comment.

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