Leeds & West Yorkshire

Huddersfield refugee 'attack' school rated inadequate

Almondbury Community School Image copyright Google
Image caption Almondbury Community School was inspected in December

A school which hit the headlines when video emerged of a 15-year-old-boy being dragged to the ground and doused in water has been rated inadequate.

Ofsted inspectors criticised Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield, for "ineffective" safeguarding and "variable" and "weak" teaching.

It said though the "vast majority" of pupils felt safe some felt the school did not respond quickly to bullying.

A school spokesman said it had made "numerous changes and improvements".

Image copyright Other
Image caption A 16-year-old boy is to appear in youth court over assault in relation to the incident against a Syrian refugee

The inspection, which took place in December, rated the school inadequate in four out of five areas and as requiring improvement in a fifth.

The school was rated inadequate in effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, outcomes for pupils, and early years provision.

It was rated as requiring improvement in personal development, behaviour and welfare.

Among the findings it said:

  • Leaders are not sufficiently vigilant in identifying when pupils may be at risk of abuse or neglect
  • The quality of teaching across the school is variable and too many pupils are under achieving
  • Senior leaders lack oversight of whole-school issues such as exclusions, racist incidents, bullying and behaviour
  • Pupils have not made sufficient progress by the end of each key stage [and] weak teaching hampers current pupils' progress
Image copyright Google
Image caption Almondbury Community School has about 700 pupils aged 3 to 16.

Video footage of the October 25 incident showed the boy - a Syrian refugee - being taunted and then pulled to the ground before having water poured in his face.

The video was filmed in a lunch break on school grounds.

A 16-year-old boy has been reported on summons for common assault and is due to appear at youth court in due course.

West Yorkshire Police said it had subsequently investigated whether there was a racially aggravated element to the offence and was awaiting a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service.

A second video emerged in November appearing to show the sister of the Syrian boy being attacked.

A school spokesman said a new board of governors had been appointed following the inspection and added: "Our commitment to achieving high standards of care and education for all pupils has never been stronger."

A Kirklees Council spokesperson said it was monitoring progress on a daily basis and doing "all we can" to support the school.

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