Severndale Specialist Academy reassures parents following Ofsted inspection
Severndale Specialist Academy in Shrewsbury has reassured parents and carers that their children are safe at the school, despite an Ofsted inspection team finding weakness in the strategic arrangements for safeguarding.
Inspectors visited the school in July this year for a ‘section 8 inspection’ (see notes) and their report – published today (10 September 2020) concludes that “safeguarding arrangements are not effective”.
Severndale’s Trustees and leadership team have already taken swift action throughout the summer to address the issues raised in the inspection and are working closely with Shropshire Council to address the identified areas for improvement and put in place immediate and focused measures.
Severndale is also receiving support, in terms of leadership, management and governance, from the Learning Community Trust, which has experience running special school provision.
Sabrina Hobbs, principal of Severndale Specialist Academy, said:
“Although this is a very disappointing outcome, we want to reassure parents that their child is safe at Severndale. It is important to state that the report also identified several key strengths within safeguarding, stating that systems were precise and provide the right processes for all staff to follow.
“However, because of this inspection Trustees at Severndale, with the Department for Education, have taken the decision to become part of a multi-academy trust. This will bring stability to what has been an extremely challenging time for us all. We will provide further information regarding this in due course.
“We hope that our actions assure parents and carers of our unwavering dedication and commitment to their children. We will continue to keep safeguarding of children and young people as our highest priority.”
Karen Bradshaw, executive director of children’s services with Shropshire Council, said:
“Shropshire Council wants our children to receive the best possible education. We’re pleased that Severndale – supported by the Learning Community Trust – have already begun work to address the priorities for improvement detailed in the Ofsted report and we will continue to support the school to ensure that pupils have consistently good opportunities to learn and to fulfil their potential.”
Dr Gill Eatough, chief executive of the Learning Community Trust, said:
“We are providing support to the team at Severndale throughout the current term, while they decide on their next steps.”
Severndale has written to all parents and carers with children at the school to reassure them and to outline the action that has been taken. There will be opportunities for parents/carers to discuss the findings of the report in more detail over the next few weeks.
The Learning Community Trust has six schools in the Telford area under its wing including Queensway Special School.
Queensway caters for the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Condition, plus those with a social, emotional and mental health diagnosis, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.
Severndale remains a “good” school, as rated in its last full Ofsted inspection.
To visit the Severndale website, click here.
This inspection was conducted under section 8 of the Education Act 2005 and in accordance with Ofsted’s published procedures for no formal designation (NFD) inspections.
The inspection was carried out because Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector was concerned about the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements and aspects of leadership and management at the school.