St Sampson’s High School is effectively in ‘special measures’ for the start of the new school year, following the publication of a damning report from inspectors at Ofsted. It has highlighted many weaknesses, but much of it seems to stem from the impact of poor behaviour in the school.
Yet Education officials will go into September, it appears, in relatively good heart. Yes, the school says goodbye to more than a dozen teachers today, for a variety of reasons, but replacements have apparently been found for them all. New members will join an expanded leadership team. All will do so knowing exactly what they are letting themselves in for, and the standards that headteacher Vicky Godley will be expecting all to enforce.
There is also the prospect of an annual £1m. added to the Education budget for extra staffing across the secondary sector from next year too.
The St Sampson’s saga sits uncomfortably, particularly for parents who had no idea what was going on under the roof where their children are educated. Ofsted has confirmed what Education, it is now clear, already knew and was starting, quietly, to address.
It also shows just how quickly a school can tumble from a good inspection report, and how long it may take to get things back on track.