04:30PM, Thursday 21 March 2019
An academy in Burnham that might be closed by the end of the academic year has questioned Ofsted’s decision to carry out a two day inspection.
The consultation on closing Burnham Park E-ACT Academy began on Wednesday, January 30 and will close on Friday, March 29.
Pupil numbers have rapidly declined at the academy making running the school ‘very difficult’.
The academy is proposing to stay open until year 11 pupils take their GCSEs and offering guaranteed places for pupils in years seven to 10 at Bourne End E-Act Academy.
Wednesday, March 6 was the first day of a two day Ofsted inspection and also a day that year 11 students were due to take mock GCSE exams.
After opening in April 2012 Ofsted’s first inspection in 2014 rated the academy as ’Requires Improvement’ and in 2016 it was deemed ‘Inadequate’.
On March 6 the Advertsier were informed that a number of teachers did not go to work and the students’ exams were postponed.
An E-ACT spokesperson said that despite the absences students could continue their lessons with minimal disruption’.
The academy timetable was rearranged and teaching staff from Bourne End E-ACT Academy provided support.
The spokesman said: “We can confirm that a full two day inspection of Burnham Park E-ACT Academy was carried out by Ofsted last week.
“An inspection deferral was requested given that we are in the middle of a public consultation on the future of the academy due to a sharp decline in the number of students. That request was denied by Ofsted.
“We have questioned the timing of the inspection and the impact it is likely to have on the well-being of our staff, students and their families at this time.
“We also question whether an inspection at this time is necessarily a good use of tax payers’ money given that the future of the academy is uncertain. We have written to Ofsted directly to outline our concerns.”
In response an Ofsted spokesperson said: “While its future is being consulted on, the school remains open and therefore subject to our usual inspection timescales.
“Ofsted must reinspect all schools within 30 months of an ‘inadequate’ judgement. As the school’s last inspection report was published in September 2016, it was due for inspection within this timeframe.”
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