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Salford school pupils 'leave school to take drugs'

New Park School in Eccles Image copyright Google
Image caption The school said it was taking "swift action" to address the issues raised

A school where pupils were reportedly leaving at break times to take illegal substances has been put in special measures.

New Park School in Eccles, Salford was criticised in the review in November by Ofsted for not knowing where pupils were during break times.

It was praised for its personal, social and health education which included the dangers of drug abuse and keeping safe.

The special school said it was taking "swift action" to address issues.

Ofsted rated the school, which provides specialist education for pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, as "inadequate" for failing to give its pupils an "acceptable standard of education".

The report said leaders at the school off Green Lane claim pupils "are supervised when they go off-site, but pupils stated this is not always the case".

'Serious concern'

Pupils told inspectors that "some secondary-age pupils go off the school site to take illegal substances".

Ofsted said it needed to take urgent action to improve safeguarding which was a "serious cause for concern", including reporting disclosures by pupils or concerns about pupils and allowing students to leave the site at break times.

It also recommended an external review be conducted to improve teaching as often the work set is too easy, attendance and reduce exclusions.

Councillor Lisa Stone said Salford City Council and the school were taking the findings in the review "very seriously".

She said processes and procedures had already changed at the school in order to make the improvements demanded by Ofsted.

They include introducing a new method of recording attendance, giving staff direct responsibility for following up absences and safeguarding referrals, staff training.

Inspectors identified strengths in the teaching, behaviour, safety and attendance of pupils between the ages of eight and 11.

The school, which has just under 100 pupils from the age of eight to 16, was classed as "good" in its last inspection in 2013.

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