Revealed: The damning Ofsted report Durand tried to quash

Inspectors said leaders of controversial academy were 'not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure pupils’ welfare'

Martin George

greg martin, durand, dunraven, ofsted, court, appeal,

Details of a damning Ofsted report that recommended Durand Academy be put in special measures can today be revealed.

It follows the decision of the Court of Appeal to reverse a High Court decision which last year quashed the report.

A draft version of the report was published on Ofsted’s website for a short period early in 2017, and at the time the inspectorate said it was “published in error”.

The final report has been published today and brands the school “inadequate” overall, and says it should be placed in special measures.

The school had disputed the report, and took legal action which resulted in last year's High Court ruling.

The report rates the south London school – which at the time also had a boarding site in West Sussex – as inadequate on eight out of nine subheadings.

They include effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, pupil behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for pupils.

Only "quality of care and support in the boarding provision" is judged better than inadequate, and is rated as "requires improvement".

The inspectors write that the school was “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement”.

They also warn that “leaders are not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure pupils’ welfare. They cannot account for the whereabouts of all pupils or ensure an appropriate education for everyone.”

The report followed an inspection at the school on 30 November and 1 December 2016.

The inspectors write that: “Teaching across the school is too variable. This means that pupils’ achievements are inconsistent.

“The rapid progress made in key stage 2 is not replicated in the early years or in key stages 1, 3 or 4.”

The inspectors also warn that “achievement in writing across the school requires improvement. Many pupils do well especially in the Year 6 tests.

“Others, including the most able and disadvantaged pupils, underachieve significantly.”

Other concerns in the draft report include:

  • Senior leaders have an inflated view of the school’s strengths and underestimate the seriousness of its weaknesses.
  • Wide variations in the quality of teaching mean that too many pupils fail to reach their potential.
  • The excessive number of exclusions resulting from boarders’ inappropriate behaviour disrupts their learning.
  • A boarder’s allegation of abuse by a member of staff was not referred to the local authority designated officer for consultation.

At the time of the publication of the draft, Sir Greg Martin (pictured), the school's former head and then-chair of governors, hit out the inspectorate, telling Tes: “[Ofsted] seems to be a very bureaucratic and pointless thing to have these days. I don’t really see the use of it any longer, given the amount of information about schools online, and the league tables.”

He disputed the report's findings, citing the school's performance in the previous year's national Key Stage 2 tests, which rated its progress scores as “well above national average” for reading, writing and maths.

In August 2017, Tes revealed that Durand was closing its boarding provision.

And in September 2018, Durand was taken over by the Dunraven Educational Trust, and has been re-branded as Van Gogh Academy.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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