County Council continues work with school following Ofsted findings

North Yorkshire is continuing to work closely with a school in Ryedale which was criticised by Ofsted in a report published today.

School desks

The County Council has been working with Lady Lumley’s School for a number of months following its recent Ofsted inspection.

The secondary school in Pickering was rated inadequate after the inspectorate stated some children did not feel safe in the school due to the behaviour of a “small hard core of pupils”. It included allegations of racist and homophobic language used by some pupils.

On hearing this verbally from Ofsted, the County Council immediately conducted a full safeguarding review and also conducted a “student voice” exercise, interviewing students about their experience at school. The council also commissioned an independent review of behaviour and other issues raised in the report, which was carried out by a specialist, education consultancy.

The school attempted to launch a legal challenge against Ofsted’s findings, feeling the evidence Ofsted had based its conclusions on were flawed. But this challenge was unsuccessful.

The County Council is has now applied to set up an Interim Executive Board to support Lady Lumley’s School. It is also working with the secondary school and the Regional Schools Commissioner to find an academy sponsor as it moves towards academisation.

Judith Kirk, North Yorkshire’s Assistant Director for Education and Skills said: “Our responsibility is to make sure all children feel safe and valued to ensure they continue to have the best education.

“We have zero tolerance of bullying or prejudiced behaviour of any kind in our schools; it is a matter we take very, very seriously.

“We will now be working closely with the school, the wider school community and the Regional Schools Commissioner as Lady Lumley’s School moves towards academisation.

“We are very grateful to parents and carers for their support and understanding as we work together on the next chapter for the school.”

This story was published 16 June 2020