Dorset

IPACA school rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted

Protest at the school
Image caption Plans for the school to join multi-academy trust Aldridge Education had met with protests from parents

An academy school that has recently seen two of its board members resign has been rated inadequate by Ofsted.

The latest report for Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) said the achievement of pupils was "significantly below average".

It also said senior leaders had not received adequate support from the academy co-sponsors Aldridge Foundation and Dorset County Council.

The school has pledged to "improve outcomes as soon as possible".

The inspection in November also found too many teachers had failed to set work that matched pupils' needs and governors had "failed to challenge leaders over the achievement of pupils".

Inspectors also said pupils' absences and exclusions were "too high" and students with special educational needs and disabilities had not received the "necessary support".

'Teething problems'

Parent Jo O'Dowd said IPACA had "great potential with the right support" and hoped it would "overcome teething problems".

Laurie Schneider, who has three children at the school which opened in 2012, described the report as "heartbreaking".

She added her children had "gone from children who were enthused with learning to children that don't want to go and come home saying they haven't learnt anything".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The inspection at IPACA took place in November

The school had been due to join multi-academy trust Aldridge Education from January.

However, in November Aldridge said the move would longer go ahead and it would not continue to sponsor the school.

The previous month saw the the chairman and vice-chairman of IPACA board of governors resign, and the school was also issued with a government warning over its finances.

IPACA principal Joss Hayes described the Ofsted report as "disappointing but not a surprise, as it confirms the view of the governing body that the academy has not fulfilled its core purpose of giving the children of Portland an excellent education".

Aldridge Foundation said the report highlighted IPACA's need for support from a multi-academy trust.

Dorset County Council said as a "minority sponsor represented by just one governor" it did "everything we could to support the academy".

Ms Hayes said the school was now working with the council and regional schools commissioner "to improve outcomes as soon as possible".

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