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Inspection disrupted by rowdy pupils

Rowdy pupils hijacked lessons in a deliberate campaign of disruption during an inspection of a Manchester school.

Inspectors who visited Stretford high in January said that unruly pupils repeatedly prevented their classmates from learning. Pupils of all ages were noisy and badly behaved in the corridors and throughout the school.

Karen Todd, the head, resigned after the Office for Standards in Education said leadership at the 746-pupil school was unsatisfactory, the quality of education poor and the budget severely overspent.

Trafford council stripped governors of some powers following the report, which said: "Too often pupils who want to learn are prevented from doing so by the disruptive and unco-operative behaviour of other pupils. On several occasions during inspection, pupils deliberately set out to disrupt lessons."

Stretford's decline has been rapid. Its 1997 Ofsted report said: "Pupil behaviour is very good."

Of the 75 parents who filled out an inspection questionnaire more than half said behaviour was a concern. Ofsted agreed, saying: "Conduct in corridors and around school is unsatisfactory, with examples of lack of respect and of inconsiderate and noisy behaviour from pupils in all year groups."

Four in 10 pupils are eligible for free school meals, 78 per cent are from ethnic minority groups and 32 per cent have special needs.

Two Trafford heads - Lee Harris, of Lostock arts college, and Derek Davies, former associate head of Jeff Joseph school - have been drafted in to run the school.

Inspectors praised RE, PE, language and special needs teaching.

News 5 Leader 22

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