Merger school’s ‘inadequate’ rating

NILA 02-10-12 BE 15 The Ormiston ilkeston school, academy.
NILA 02-10-12 BE 15 The Ormiston ilkeston school, academy.

A school, set to take on more pupils if a proposed merger goes ahead, has been deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors.

The trust which runs Ormiston Ilkeston Academy, formerly Ilkeston School, has now vowed to improve after the damning report, which gave it the lowest possible rating.

An emergency interim principal, who helped to steer another Ormiston academy out of special measures, has now been brought in to sort out the school’s problems.

Under plans by the Ormiston Academies Trust, Ormiston Enterprise Academy in Cotmanhay will be closed and merged with the King George Avenue school.

The Ofsted report, sent to parents this week, has prompted fears that the school will continue to get worse as it takes on extra pupils.

Helen Clarke, chairman of Erewash Labour Party, which has been campaigning against the merger, said the Ofsted rating was ‘appalling’ and made the plans to close the Cotmanhay site ‘even more outrageous’.

“Children learn best in small groups, not in huge classes,” she said.

“This is not fair on the children who are finding things difficult.”

Ormiston Academies Trust said that interim principal David Smith helped Heartlands Academy in Birmingham to achieve two consecutive ‘outstanding’ Ofsted reports and that the Ilkeston school has taken on recommendations made by the Department for Education.

A spokesman said: “We are extremely disappointed with Ofsted’s ‘inadequate’ rating.

“We were aware of many of the issues when we became responsible for the academy a year ago and both Ofsted and the Department agree we have begun to put things right.

“The inspection framework has changed and become tougher but we accept that achieving high standards is paramount and we are determined to ensure standards improve.”