Ofsted slams academy at centre of fraud probe

SCHOOL PROBLEMS: Glendene Arts Academy in Easington.
SCHOOL PROBLEMS: Glendene Arts Academy in Easington.
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THE school at the centre of a serious fraud investigation has again been criticised by education bosses.

Glendene Arts Academy was placed in special measures this summer for a catalogue of failings, including some of the governors not being properly vetted and the improvement plan not being fit for purpose.

Ofsted announced this week, following a monitoring visit at the Easington school, that suitable improvements were not being made.

In June watchdogs said the academy, which caters for children aged two to 19 years old with special needs, was inadequate in all areas and urgent action needed to be taken to improve the safeguarding of students.

Following their latest visit, inspectors said: “The overall quality of leadership and management of the academy remains inadequate with significant shortcomings in the capacity to bring about the necessary improvements.

“The current acting academy leader and acting assistant academy leader do not yet show sufficient clarity, vision and strategic thinking to ensure that all the improvements needed will be expedited as a matter of urgency, in order to ensure that all pupils at the academy receive the quality of education that specifically meets their needs.”

Inspectors said although some progress has been made in better safeguarding pupils, this still remains an issue at the academy and there is an immediate and urgent need to get enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks on three adults currently working at the school where this has not yet been done.

They said: “The behaviour and restraint logs are inadequate as they lack the information required to be recorded and reviewed on an incident by incident basis.”

They concluded that the academy’s action plan is still not fit for purpose.

This is the latest blow for the Crawlaw Road school, where three people were arrested earlier this year as part of a Durham Police investigation.

Glendene was rated as good in March 2012, before leaving local authority control and becoming an academy six months later. Now Durham County Council has been called back in to help put things right at the school.

Those arrested as part of the fraud investigation into the alleged misspending of £162,000, a 57-year-old man and his 56-year-old wife, believed to be Eric Baker, former principal at Glendene, and his wife, Marian Baker, 
and a 41-year-old man, are on police bail.