Slough’s inadequate Grove Academy could see its funding withdrawn
A SCHOOL where some students felt ‘unsafe’ and racially abused has been warned it could have its funding withdrawn by the government.
The Grove Academy, which is run by SASH Education Trust, could be transferred to an alternative academy if it fails to improve the failings highlighted in a damning report.
Last month, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported that education watchdog Ofsted had branded Slough’s school ‘inadequate’ in its first inspection since opening in 2017.
Inspectors have found that the behavior of some pupils at Ladbrooke Road School can be ‘chaotic and dangerous’, while others find it ‘intimidating and disturbing’.
Some students use “derogatory comments related to students’ protected characteristics, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation.” But the damning report highlighted that many pupils want to learn but are affected by a ‘small but significant group’ of misbehaving children.
READ MORE: Grove Academy in Slough deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted
A spokesperson for Grove Academy, which has about 900 students at the school, said it was “committed” to making improvements and would overhaul its behavioral system as well as expand its pastoral team and collaborate with parents.
The trust has received a warning notice of termination from Dame Kate Dethridge, commissioner for regional schools in North West London and South Central England, warning that it may withdraw its funding and remove the school from the trust if improvements are not made.
Dame Dethridge wrote: ‘As Regional Commissioner of Schools I must be convinced that the trust has the capacity to bring about rapid and lasting improvement in the academy.
“If I’m not confident this can be achieved, I will consider terminating the funding agreement to transfer the academy to another academy trust.”
READ MORE: Slough Borough Council has spent £15million on temporary staff
A spokesperson for the SASH Education Trust said he was “confident” the Grove Academy had the ability to make the required improvements and was committed to enabling the current management team and staff to drive the ‘school.
They said: “As part of this, the Trust has approved new investment to enable the plans to move forward. Already, effective planning and additional capacity have been put in place to ensure rapid and effective change, including additional staff, resources and plans to improve student dining facilities.
“In addition, Trustees and Governors will work closely with the leadership team, staff, RSC [regional schools commissioner] and other partners to integrate this work and ensure the best outcomes for Grove students.
The trust has until June 24 to provide any immediate and appropriate action plans it has to address the issues raised by Ofsted, details of its governance and leadership arrangements, and any additional information and relevant.