Fear of a second Hackney Downs

5th January 1996 at 00:00
Concern that Earl Marshal might face the same fate as Hackney Downs school in east London - the first school to be closed by an education association or "hit squad" - led Sheffield City Council to take action last year.

Standards at the school were causing concern three years ago and in 1994 an inspection by city council inspectors claimed there was evidence of poor management. A full inspection in May last year by the Sheffield team confirmed inspectors' earlier findings as well as other concerns about the delivery of the national curriculum.

The council then took the highly unusual step of calling on the Office for Standards in Education to work with the Sheffield inspectors on a full report instead of carrying out the OFSTED inspection planned for the spring of this year.

In July last year the inspection by HMI - which had the status of a full OFSTED inspection - painted a damning picture of a badly run school with poor teaching and examination results. Earl Marshal was placed on the list of "failing schools".

The report said that three-fifths of lessons were not up to scratch and that there was "significant" underachievement.

The report alleged the school did not provide an orderly environment, that marking was inconsistent and the senior management team ineffective.

It provided poor value for money, the inspectors added, although they noted that relationships between teachers and pupils were sometimes good and that pupils' behaviour was generally satis-factory.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today