‘Lessons must be learnt’ following school inspection

Ashington High School.
Ashington High School.

Officials at a south east Northumberland school have admitted they have fallen short in their expectations after it was placed in special measures by inspectors.

Ashington High School has been deemed inadequate overall, following an Ofsted inspection in January.

The school has fallen from a ‘good’ rating in 2012, and has now been placed in special measures.

Ashington High School is set to become a secondary school later this year, catering for 11 to 18-year-olds, with the opening of new multi-million pound facilities.

In a letter to parents, the school’s chairman of governors Chris Smith said: “We have fallen some way short of our own expectations and those of parents.

“Lessons must and will be learnt.

“We will shortly be sending a formal response to Ofsted’s chief inspector of schools and to the secretary of state for education.

“Our response will accept the overall findings of the report and it will contain an outline action plan for improvement.

“Our school is built on strong foundations and these will enable us to begin making the required improvements immediately.

“While the report is very disappointing overall, inspectors did acknowledge we have procedures and systems in place that are good.

“The work to improve begins immediately and in the short-term our objective is to lift ourselves out of special measures at the first available opportunity while longer-term, we remain absolutely committed to turning Ashington High into an outstanding school in which to teach and learn.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has been in touch with Ofsted seeking a meeting with the regional director to discuss the issue of schooling in Wansbeck.

“I have already sought assurances from the local education authority to ensure that everything possible is being done to put in place measures that will give the young people attending schools in my constituency the best possible chances of a sound education,” he said.

“Right from the age of two years old when they enter the education system, our children need and deserve the very best teaching. It would be all too easy to take a knee jerk reaction and criticise the schools but at this point that is not the answer.

“We need to work together to learn lessons from these Ofsted inspections and ensure that things are put right without delay.

“Sadly, there seems to be a disproportionate number of schools being criticised in Ofsted reports in the north east of England, and we need to know why that is.

“Education is right up there among the highest priorities for our young people and I will be doing all I can to ensure that work begins immediately to sort this situation out.

“It is absolutely vital that pupils in Wansbeck get the same opportunities for a good education as those throughout the rest of the country and that our schools are in a position to provide this.”