Leeds & West Yorkshire

Special needs school head teacher quits after damning report

North West Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption North West Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre has nine sites across Leeds

The head teacher of a Leeds special needs school has quit after Ofsted inspectors said there was a "decline in standards" in a damning report.

North West Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre (NW SILC) was rated inadequate following inspections on 9 and 10 May.

Ofsted had previously rated it as good in 2013.

In a letter to parents, Michael Purches said he had "decided to do the right thing and step aside".

He said the Ofsted inspection "did not go well and the report highlights shortfalls in all areas".

"I am confident that the NW SILC can soon be be back to where it should be. The staff are fully committed to turning things around and with new leadership in place they will succeed I'm sure," Mr Purches added.

Image caption Head teacher Michael Purches sent a letter to parents telling them he had decided to "step aside"

Leeds City Council has appointed Diane Reynard as interim head teacher at the school after all six Ofsted categories were graded inadequate.

The Ofsted report criticised leadership and management, teaching, pupils' behaviour and progress, and safety.

However, Ofsted said the school had strengths with some staff supporting "all areas of pupils' development effectively".

In a statement, Nigel Richardson, director of children's services at Leeds City Council, said it was "a very disappointing outcome" and the school had "taken immediate action".

"[The] council is working closely with the school to ensure immediate improvements are made and that the recommendations are all addressed."

He added that the safety of pupils was "paramount".

"We have worked with the school to ensure that safeguarding procedures and staff record keeping is up-to-date, staff records are all correct and that all staff have received child protection training."

The school has 188 pupils, aged between three and 19, with a range of special educational needs, disabilities and difficulties at nine sites.

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