Dozens of staff leave troubled Doncaster school

New Mexborough School headteacher Wayne Parkes with students.
New Mexborough School headteacher Wayne Parkes with students.

A criticised Doncaster school has seen 37 teachers leave since it was slated by Ofsted earlier this year.

An interim report oublished this week by inspectors says the staff have left Mexborough School since its inspection in May, which plunged it into special measures.

In a letter to the school’s new headteacher Wayne Parkes, Ofsted inspector Robert Pritchard confirms the action plan drawn up by the school to turn things around is acceptable.

He said senior leaders from Wakefield City Academies Trust, known as WCAT , were working in the school to help make the necessary improvements.

Mr Pritchard said since the inspection there had been substantial change in staffing.

He said: “The headteacher has left the school and has been replaced by an appointment from WCAT. Also, as part of a restructure, 37 teaching staff have departed and five specialist teachers have joined.

“WCAT has a service level agreement to support the school until conversion into an academy. There are a number of consultants and senior leaders from WCAT working in the school to help make the necessary improvements. “

Mr Pritchard said the leaders from the trust and the headteacher had quickly identified what went wrong at the school and had a clear strategy to make the necessary improvements.

The plans that had been produced were clearly focused on the areas identified in the last inspection and had the detail to ensure that the actions could be closely monitored.

A lot had already been put in place, with the quality of teaching and the climate for learning taking priority.

He observed that these had been identified as key ingredients for the pupils to be able to make progress.

But he added the headteacher was aware teaching across the school had to improve more to reach targets that have been set.

The letter has also been sent to the Government and Doncaster Council.

The secondary school was given the lowest rating possible by Ofsted inspectors in the summer, which came as the former headteacher Mirjam Buhler-Willey resigned and a number of school governors left.

The new headteacher said top of the agenda is putting in place a plan to improve teaching, boost pupil achievement and to elect a new board of governors ahead of the school’s transition into an academy.

Mr Parkes added that he hopes to have a new board of governors in place within the next couple of months.

Advanced discussions are underway for the school to become an academy, under sponsorship of the Wakefield City Academies Trust, which also sponsors Montagu Primary Academy.