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Senior staff at Linchfield Community Primary School report online abuse of teachers to police after Ofsted imposes 'special measures'




Leaders at a troubled Deepings school have reported online abuse of its staff to police after it was put into "special measures" by Ofsted.

Head teacher Andy Fawkes revealed that several teachers at Linchfield Community Primary School, in Deeping St James, received "very hostile and disrespectful" comments from parents after publication of a damning inspection report published this month.

A report from Ofsted, published after a two-day inspection in January this year, slammed the school for its "inconsistent teaching, poor progress across a range of subjects" by pupils, "inadequate" early years' provision and even "bullying and intimidation" of staff.

Leaders of Linchfield Community Primary School have said that online abuse of staff, following a poor Ofsted report and the school going into 'special measures', has been reported to police. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG160519-020TW
Leaders of Linchfield Community Primary School have said that online abuse of staff, following a poor Ofsted report and the school going into 'special measures', has been reported to police. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG160519-020TW

However, there was praise for the politeness and good behaviour of children, as well as their "spiritual, moral, social and cultural development".

In a newsletter to parents and carers before the half-term break, Mr Hawkes admitted that Ofsted's "inadequate" judgement and its assessment that Linchfield was "failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education", had led to a "particularly difficult" period for the school.

Mr Hawkes said: "Staff have reported to me that many parents have taken the time to chat to teachers, both on the playground and outside of school, reassuring them of their continued support and faith in our school.

Linchfield Community Primary School, in Deeping St James, has gone from good to inadequate in less than four years, according to Ofsted. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG160519-021TW
Linchfield Community Primary School, in Deeping St James, has gone from good to inadequate in less than four years, according to Ofsted. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG160519-021TW

"However, whilst being grateful for this support, there have been incidents whereby members of the teaching team have been criticised on social media in a very hostile and disrespectful way.

"The type of language used about a particular member of staff was so upsetting that the matter was passed to the police and I will be speaking to those parents concerned directly.

"This is not acceptable and abuse of staff will not be tolerated."

Linchfield had been rated good in all areas by Ofsted after a previous inspection of the school in November 2015.

After it was informed of Ofsted's latest recommendation to go into special measures, leaders at Linchfield held a meeting with parents at the nearby Deepings School two weeks ago.

Parents were notified that a three-person Interim Executive Board (IEB), which met for the first time on May 17, had been put in place by Lincolnshire County Council educational leaders to over the school's governance.

In a letter to parents, Linchfield IEB chairman Helen Richardson said: "It is hugely disappointing that Ofsted judged the school to be inadequate.

Linchfield Community Primary School, Deeping St James, is now under the joint leadership of an 'Interim Executive Board' and Lincolnshire County Council's Children's Services. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG160519-022TW
Linchfield Community Primary School, Deeping St James, is now under the joint leadership of an 'Interim Executive Board' and Lincolnshire County Council's Children's Services. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG160519-022TW

"Whilst the judgement is upsetting, there are still positives about the school and some of these were noted in the report.

"Most importantly, Ofsted stated in the report that children are safe 'due to the diligence of teachers and support staff’.

"The governing body has already undergone significant changes and we are committed to working with you and school leaders to drive improvements forward."

An extract from the Ofsted report read: "Leaders do not recognise the school's weaknesses, they have not identified clear priorities for improvement or taken effective action to bring them.

"Many staff do not feel able to share their view with the school's leaders and governors, experiencing bullying and intimidation from senior leaders.

"Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted well and through the school's 'Investors in Pupils' scheme, children play an active role in the local community.

"Governors do not have high enough ambitions for the standard of education that pupils receive, they have been complacent and have not acted to stem the decline in standards."



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