Ofsted blow to First School
In a damning letter to Northumberland County Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Ofsted announced that after 17 focused inspections in schools in the county, they noted a “significant and worrying decline in inspection outcomes.” The letter warned: “This downward trend of school performance is unacceptable against an overall national and regional improvement.”
One of the schools to be inspected was St Cuthbert’s RC Voluntary Aided First School in Amble which was placed in the lowest Ofsted category and judged to be “inadequate”. That means it is now placed in Special Measures.
NCC Lead Member for Children’s Services, Robert Arckless, told The Ambler: “I have specific responsibilities and in legal terms I am a decision maker if significant changes are suggested; therefore I have to act in strict accordance with legal advice through whatever process follows.
“I am very sad about the situation that St Cuthbert’s is in. I know how much parents care about their children’s education and local schools. In the immediate future St Cuthbert’s will be given extra support by the Council and by Ofsted. This includes support for Governors and the Acting Head teacher. The Governors, the RC Diocese and the County Council will each have responsibilities. Since this is a Catholic school the initiative lies with the RC Diocese and the Governing body.”
Cllr Arckless added “The aim has to be to improve the education for the children and that has to be our first priority.”