York & North Yorkshire

Foremost School placed in Ofsted special measures

Foremost School. Harrogate
Image caption The school opened a year ago after the merger of two different schools

A residential special school for boys with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties has been placed in special measures, after an Ofsted inspection.

A report on Foremost School near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, said: "Leaders, managers and governors have failed to get the school established."

North Yorkshire County Council said work was under way "to bring about fundamental change at the school".

It opened a year ago after the merger of two different schools.

The Ofted inspection took place during March and rated the school as inadequate.

The school at Forest Moor, Darley, currently has 26 students and serves the western half of the county.

'Physical restraint'

It was judged inadequate by Ofsted in five criteria - achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, leadership and management, overall effectiveness of the residential experience.

The report said students showed "very little respect for staff or each other" and the use of "unacceptable language" was commonplace.

It also stated there were "too many instances where physical restraint is considered necessary".

However, the report found the school had "a small core of dedicated staff" and the local authority "fully understands the problems facing the school".

North Yorkshire County Council said moving students with complex difficulties into a new school was always going to prove challenging.

In a statement, the council said signs of improvement included the appointment of Andrew Dawson, as head teacher, in October.

Mr Dawson is drawing up an action plan designed to bring the school out of special measures by September 2014, at the latest, it added.

The new school came about after the transfer of Baliol School from Cumbria and the closure of Netherside Hall, a local authority residential special school in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

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