Sunderland special school is making improvements say education watchdogs

Gary Mellefont headteacher at North View Academy.
Gary Mellefont headteacher at North View Academy.

A Sunderland school is on the road to recovery after being placed in special measures.

North View Academy was placed in special measures at the beginning of the year after an Ofsted inspection.

The school’s statement for action is fit for purpose

Ofsted

The academy, which opened in 2012 in a new £4.2million building, was rated to be inadequate.

However after a recent monitoring visit by the education watchdog, they said the progress is being made.

Following the initial Ofsted inspection, a huge action plan was drawn up on how to take the school forward.

In a letter to the school’s headteacher Gary Mellefont after the recent monitoring visit, inspectors said it appears to be working.

The letter said: “Having considered all the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.

“The school’s statement of action is fit for purpose. The school’s improvement plan is fit for purpose.”

The inspectors said the school, in St Luke’s Road, can now go on to appoint newly-qualified teachers.

In the original report, the education watchdog said leadership was inadequate and staff were not using restraint techniques and guidelines properly.

They said governors were not holding leaders to account for the safety and welfare of pupils, who are primary age and have a range of emotional and behavioural problems.

Inspectors said expectations of what pupils can achieve were too low and teaching was variable and pupils did not make good progress.

However, they said there were a lot of positives at the school, saying: “Staff are skilled at forming positive relationships that help pupils to settle quickly.

“Many pupils make strong progress in their personal and social development, including learning how to manage the impact of their mental health needs.”

Following the report, Mr Mellefont said the school was determined to turn things around.

He said: “The academy staff are resilient and determined that this process will indeed make us stronger in the future and allow us to get back to being a good school.

“A school which in the future provides the very best we can for our pupils, parents and carers and for all the future stakeholders at the academy.”