MP CALLS FOR GLEED MEETING

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MP John Hayes is to meet with the headteacher of a Spalding secondary school amid fears Ofsted could place it in special measures.

Mr Hayes spoke to Sir John Gleed School headteacher Janet Daniels yesterday to arrange the meeting after being contacted by a number of worried parents.

The school recently underwent an unplanned three-day Ofsted inspection after being called in by parents worried about discipline problems, including violence and smoking at the school.

The inspectors’ report is unlikely to be published until next week, but rumours are circulating that the school has already been placed in special measures – meaning it has been judged that the school is failing to provide an adequate education.

Mr Hayes said: “I have received a few letters from parents worried about what is happening at the school, so I have asked for a meeting with the headteacher and chairman of governors.”

Mr Hayes said pupils’ welfare must be a priority.

He said: “We have got to be sure that they are getting what they deserve and I want reassurances that that is being done.

“If the school is facing issues and challenges we need to work to overcome them but the priority is the future of the pupils.”

Mrs Daniels has refused to comment on whether the school, which became an academy earlier this year after the merger of the former boys’ and girls’ schools, has been placed in special measures, saying she is unable to say anything until Ofsted’s report is published – probably next week.

Ofsted and CfBT, the trust which runs the academy, have also refused to comment.

But letters have been sent out by Mrs Daniels to parents, inviting them to a series of meetings to discuss the Ofsted inspection and what is being done to address the issues raised.

The letter reads: “I am keen to put improvements in place as quickly as possible.”

The meetings, scheduled on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for different year groups, follow a letter to parents last week which reveals that Ofsted inspectors had given Mrs Daniels an outline of their findings at the end of the inspection.

She said: “However, until this is published in the report, the school must not share this information.

“Before the visit, we were on a journey to bring the two schools together and create an outstanding new school.

“That journey will continue, but now we will need to work faster to achieve our goal.

“To do this, we will all need to work together and I would like to ask for your support to do this.”

She goes on to ask for parents’ support in areas such as uniform, homework/extension opportunities and low level disruption, and says bigger issues such as smoking, which she describes as “a concern to us all” are also being tackled.

Mrs Daniels has also held meetings with staff and students to explain what is expected of them.

One parent, Lesa Jeffery, who is hoping to set up a Parents and Friends Association as soon as things settle down, said it was a worrying time but hopes parents will be put in the picture as to what’s happening at next week’s meetings with Mrs Daniels.

She said: “Until then all the rumours about the school being put in special measures are just pure speculation. Hopefully after the meetings we will all be a bit wiser.”