Shock as once highly-rated Stockton school is placed on special measures

An artist's impression of how new facilities at Ian Ramsey secondary school in Stockton will look

An artist's impression of how new facilities at Ian Ramsey secondary school in Stockton will look

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Stockton/Hartlepool)

A ONCE-WELL regarded school previously rated as “good” by Oftsed has declined so badly it has been placed on special measures.

Ian Ramsey CE School, in the leafy Fairfield area of Stockton, has been rated inadequate in the latest Ofsted report issued today (Thursday, May 1).

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, said the report showed the school to be “not just inadequate but spectacularly so” and said “parents will rightly be demanding action from governors.”

The previous two Ofsted reports at the school rated the school, which is oversubscribed, as “good.”

However the latest report said leadership and quality of teaching were inadequate.

On teaching, the report said the quality of marking was not good enough, teachers have low expectations of pupils and homework wasn’t set often enough in a number of subjects.

Discussing leadership and management the school said leaders and governors have not ensured that teaching and achievement are improving and not all subject leaders check whether teachers are using information about students to plan effectively.

Both the Church of England and Stockton Borough Council are already working on an urgent action plan. It has already been announced that Venerable Bede Academy in Sunderland, which has been rated ‘outstanding,’ will give immediate additional support.

Headteacher, Janet Wilson, said: “Naturally, we are very disappointed with the outcome of the inspection and I realise that this judgement will come as a big shock to our parents.

“I want to reassure them that we are taking the issues raised in the report very seriously. Along with our governors, the local authority and Diocese, we are doing everything possible to address the issues raised by the inspection.

“We are getting ready to move into superb new facilities in September and are absolutely determined to provide educational standards to match.”

Mr Cunningham, MP, said: “I am quite shocked. This school has been consistently good in the past. This is not just inadequate but spectacularly so.”

Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Ann McCoy, said: “Though the performance of the school’s pupils at GCSE is better than the national average there are some issues with the progress pupils make during their time at the school and steps are being taken to resolve this as soon as possible.”

Last year, 61 per cent of pupils at the school achieved five A* to C grades including English and Maths, which is above the national average.

Comments (13)

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10:51pm Thu 1 May 14

LUSTARD says...

its a cushy number, plenty poke, loads holidays why spoil a good thing,, be carefull theyll be out on strike if u winge on.
its a cushy number, plenty poke, loads holidays why spoil a good thing,, be carefull theyll be out on strike if u winge on. LUSTARD
  • Score: -28

7:56am Fri 2 May 14

your joking says...

LUSTARD wrote:
its a cushy number, plenty poke, loads holidays why spoil a good thing,, be carefull theyll be out on strike if u winge on.
You obviously know nothing about teaching and the work that is involved. My daughter is teacher and works every night at home and every Sunday too lesson planning and marking books etc. She is dedicated to her pupils and passionate about the subject she teaches. If the job is that cushy why aren't you doing it? Maybe because you don't have the brains to be a teacher, pass exams and go to University, do a degree in your subject and then go onto to do a teaching degree. My daughter worked hard studying while her mates were out partying. As for striking, she for one has never been on strike. The teachers are striking because the govt want to change their terms of contract; pension etc. Something I believe we all would do if our employers were proposing to change our contract.
I will add that given what has happened to Ann Maguire this week your comments are untimely too!
[quote][p][bold]LUSTARD[/bold] wrote: its a cushy number, plenty poke, loads holidays why spoil a good thing,, be carefull theyll be out on strike if u winge on.[/p][/quote]You obviously know nothing about teaching and the work that is involved. My daughter is teacher and works every night at home and every Sunday too lesson planning and marking books etc. She is dedicated to her pupils and passionate about the subject she teaches. If the job is that cushy why aren't you doing it? Maybe because you don't have the brains to be a teacher, pass exams and go to University, do a degree in your subject and then go onto to do a teaching degree. My daughter worked hard studying while her mates were out partying. As for striking, she for one has never been on strike. The teachers are striking because the govt want to change their terms of contract; pension etc. Something I believe we all would do if our employers were proposing to change our contract. I will add that given what has happened to Ann Maguire this week your comments are untimely too! your joking
  • Score: 28

4:23pm Fri 2 May 14

settheworldonfire says...

your joking wrote:
LUSTARD wrote:
its a cushy number, plenty poke, loads holidays why spoil a good thing,, be carefull theyll be out on strike if u winge on.
You obviously know nothing about teaching and the work that is involved. My daughter is teacher and works every night at home and every Sunday too lesson planning and marking books etc. She is dedicated to her pupils and passionate about the subject she teaches. If the job is that cushy why aren't you doing it? Maybe because you don't have the brains to be a teacher, pass exams and go to University, do a degree in your subject and then go onto to do a teaching degree. My daughter worked hard studying while her mates were out partying. As for striking, she for one has never been on strike. The teachers are striking because the govt want to change their terms of contract; pension etc. Something I believe we all would do if our employers were proposing to change our contract.
I will add that given what has happened to Ann Maguire this week your comments are untimely too!
My gran was a teacher and i totally agree............wit
h LUSTARD......teacher
s are not living in the real world ...far too quick to label children as bad....far too many holidays....too many teacher training days....and no control over kids at school.......They are forever putting kids on detentions for anything....
[quote][p][bold]your joking[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LUSTARD[/bold] wrote: its a cushy number, plenty poke, loads holidays why spoil a good thing,, be carefull theyll be out on strike if u winge on.[/p][/quote]You obviously know nothing about teaching and the work that is involved. My daughter is teacher and works every night at home and every Sunday too lesson planning and marking books etc. She is dedicated to her pupils and passionate about the subject she teaches. If the job is that cushy why aren't you doing it? Maybe because you don't have the brains to be a teacher, pass exams and go to University, do a degree in your subject and then go onto to do a teaching degree. My daughter worked hard studying while her mates were out partying. As for striking, she for one has never been on strike. The teachers are striking because the govt want to change their terms of contract; pension etc. Something I believe we all would do if our employers were proposing to change our contract. I will add that given what has happened to Ann Maguire this week your comments are untimely too![/p][/quote]My gran was a teacher and i totally agree............wit h LUSTARD......teacher s are not living in the real world ...far too quick to label children as bad....far too many holidays....too many teacher training days....and no control over kids at school.......They are forever putting kids on detentions for anything.... settheworldonfire
  • Score: -13

7:44pm Fri 2 May 14

dex321 says...

It would be good if the Northern Echo journalists could spell Ofsted too, before launching an attack on our own schools!
It would be good if the Northern Echo journalists could spell Ofsted too, before launching an attack on our own schools! dex321
  • Score: 10

8:23pm Fri 2 May 14

StangTop says...

"Last year, 61 per cent of pupils at the school achieved five A* to C grades including English and Maths, which is above the national average. "

Perhaps this is a better measure of this school than a snapshot Ofsted inspection where teachers are judged and labelled based on a few minutes observation, not even a whole lesson.

It is disappointing that the local Labour MP chooses to stick the knife in rather than support the school and perhaps question the political motivation behind the pattern of schools being categorised like this to force them to take academy status in line with current government policy. He who pays the piper calls the tune.
"Last year, 61 per cent of pupils at the school achieved five A* to C grades including English and Maths, which is above the national average. " Perhaps this is a better measure of this school than a snapshot Ofsted inspection where teachers are judged and labelled based on a few minutes observation, not even a whole lesson. It is disappointing that the local Labour MP chooses to stick the knife in rather than support the school and perhaps question the political motivation behind the pattern of schools being categorised like this to force them to take academy status in line with current government policy. He who pays the piper calls the tune. StangTop
  • Score: 19

11:50pm Fri 2 May 14

spragger says...

The LEA and NUT strike again. They need a free school to kick these two out
The LEA and NUT strike again. They need a free school to kick these two out spragger
  • Score: -2

9:12am Sat 3 May 14

Traser says...

Stangtop:

The local MP is a Tory: the pudgy faced James Wharton. They probably had to go to Cunningham for a comment as Wharton was either too busy sunning himself in Sri Lanka or was too busy twisting about his EU Bill (and didn't have time for mere constituency matters)

Spragger:

It's a Church of England Maintained School: care to factor that into your desperate attempt to blame the LEA and NUT?

Many other Stockton Schools are academies and have poor educational standards. You'll have to try harder to make your political points against the local authority.
Stangtop: The local MP is a Tory: the pudgy faced James Wharton. They probably had to go to Cunningham for a comment as Wharton was either too busy sunning himself in Sri Lanka or was too busy twisting about his EU Bill (and didn't have time for mere constituency matters) Spragger: It's a Church of England Maintained School: care to factor that into your desperate attempt to blame the LEA and NUT? Many other Stockton Schools are academies and have poor educational standards. You'll have to try harder to make your political points against the local authority. Traser
  • Score: 4

10:17am Sat 3 May 14

pilchrat says...

The intellectual void on the Northern Echo comments section never fails to amaze me. It would be helpful if some of those commenting could actually sting a sentence of English together with correct punctuation ... rather than ............. a load of ....... rubbish like,,, this and txt spk.

I wouldn't deny teachers have a hard job; it's a career choice though. I'd love to teach, but not through lack of brains, but more likely inability to control classes containing some of today's wayward youth, it's definitely a career for those with a dedication to the job. I also think there are different standards of teachers; I went to school where some teachers were there long beyond the gates closing, whilst others disappeared as soon as the bell rang.

I think teachers terms and conditions of employment are a bit on the generous side; retiring in your 50's for example. Everyone else retires in their 60's or the way things are going virtually their 70's. It's 2014 now, people are living a lot longer, so why shouldn't the government look at teachers, the fire brigade, police, etc. when they're already looked at other bits of government like local government pensions.

Back to this story though, I agree with StangTop that if the GCSE results are above average, then clearly these are likely to be short term issues, or a snapshot taken by Ofsted on a bad week. That said, it takes several years for pupils to get through school; so the current GCSE results could be a result of previously good teaching, and the bad results may be yet to emerge in future results.

I'm sure they'll get it sorted.
The intellectual void on the Northern Echo comments section never fails to amaze me. It would be helpful if some of those commenting could actually sting a sentence of English together with correct punctuation ... rather than ............. a load of ....... rubbish like,,, this and txt spk. I wouldn't deny teachers have a hard job; it's a career choice though. I'd love to teach, but not through lack of brains, but more likely inability to control classes containing some of today's wayward youth, it's definitely a career for those with a dedication to the job. I also think there are different standards of teachers; I went to school where some teachers were there long beyond the gates closing, whilst others disappeared as soon as the bell rang. I think teachers terms and conditions of employment are a bit on the generous side; retiring in your 50's for example. Everyone else retires in their 60's or the way things are going virtually their 70's. It's 2014 now, people are living a lot longer, so why shouldn't the government look at teachers, the fire brigade, police, etc. when they're already looked at other bits of government like local government pensions. Back to this story though, I agree with StangTop that if the GCSE results are above average, then clearly these are likely to be short term issues, or a snapshot taken by Ofsted on a bad week. That said, it takes several years for pupils to get through school; so the current GCSE results could be a result of previously good teaching, and the bad results may be yet to emerge in future results. I'm sure they'll get it sorted. pilchrat
  • Score: 0

10:19am Sat 3 May 14

pilchrat says...

Spot the deliberate typo; and a lack of "edit" function on this website. Oops.
Spot the deliberate typo; and a lack of "edit" function on this website. Oops. pilchrat
  • Score: 1

1:30pm Sat 3 May 14

Hardyfan says...

StangTop is right. The Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank set up by Gove in 2002 reported this week that OFSTED judgements are so unreliable that flipping a coin would be just as effective as an indicator of the link between a short, snapshot judgement and actual, measurable pupil progress. Earlier this week, the Telegraph reported: 'Research found that observations by inspectors were often unreliable, with around a fifty-fifty chance that the inspectors judged a lesson to be of the same standard as data on pupil progress showed it to be.

“The evidence suggests that when it comes to relying on judgment of a trained Ofsted inspector on how effective a lesson, you would be better off flipping a coin,” says the report. http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/education/107
01613/Ofsted-inspect
ions-youd-be-better-
off-flipping-a-coin.
html

When right-wing institutions such as the Policy Exchange and The Telegraph are starting to attack what is happening under Gove, we all need to question what is happening in education.
StangTop is right. The Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank set up by Gove in 2002 reported this week that OFSTED judgements are so unreliable that flipping a coin would be just as effective as an indicator of the link between a short, snapshot judgement and actual, measurable pupil progress. Earlier this week, the Telegraph reported: 'Research found that observations by inspectors were often unreliable, with around a fifty-fifty chance that the inspectors judged a lesson to be of the same standard as data on pupil progress showed it to be. “The evidence suggests that when it comes to relying on judgment of a trained Ofsted inspector on how effective a lesson, you would be better off flipping a coin,” says the report. http://www.telegraph .co.uk/education/107 01613/Ofsted-inspect ions-youd-be-better- off-flipping-a-coin. html When right-wing institutions such as the Policy Exchange and The Telegraph are starting to attack what is happening under Gove, we all need to question what is happening in education. Hardyfan
  • Score: 7

1:41pm Sat 3 May 14

Hardyfan says...

Stangtop is right. The Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank set up in 2002 and chaired by Gove for 4 years was reported this week as having serious doubts about the credibility of the Ofsted process. An extract from the report reads as follows: ' Research found that observations by inspectors were often unreliable, with around a fifty-fifty chance that the inspectors judged a lesson to be of the same standard as data on pupil progress showed it to be.

“The evidence suggests that when it comes to relying on judgment of a trained Ofsted inspector on how effective a lesson is, you would be better off flipping a coin,” says the report. '

The link to the full report is below, as published by The Telegraph. Rightly or wrongly, teachers and the teaching unions have a reputation for moaning about changes in education. But when even right-wing institutions such as The Policy Exchange and The Telegraph start to weigh in with concerns about what is happening to our education system, then we all need to be sceptical about what political motivation may lie behind what is happening here.

http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/education/107
01613/Ofsted-inspect
ions-youd-be-better-
off-flipping-a-coin.
html
Stangtop is right. The Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank set up in 2002 and chaired by Gove for 4 years was reported this week as having serious doubts about the credibility of the Ofsted process. An extract from the report reads as follows: ' Research found that observations by inspectors were often unreliable, with around a fifty-fifty chance that the inspectors judged a lesson to be of the same standard as data on pupil progress showed it to be. “The evidence suggests that when it comes to relying on judgment of a trained Ofsted inspector on how effective a lesson is, you would be better off flipping a coin,” says the report. ' The link to the full report is below, as published by The Telegraph. Rightly or wrongly, teachers and the teaching unions have a reputation for moaning about changes in education. But when even right-wing institutions such as The Policy Exchange and The Telegraph start to weigh in with concerns about what is happening to our education system, then we all need to be sceptical about what political motivation may lie behind what is happening here. http://www.telegraph .co.uk/education/107 01613/Ofsted-inspect ions-youd-be-better- off-flipping-a-coin. html Hardyfan
  • Score: 7

7:04pm Sun 4 May 14

greenfinger says...

A reporter with with dyslexia reporting on a failing school. The irony ha
A reporter with with dyslexia reporting on a failing school. The irony ha greenfinger
  • Score: -1

10:50am Sun 11 May 14

Traser says...

Pilcrat:

"I think teachers terms and conditions of employment are a bit on the generous side; retiring in your 50's for example. Everyone else retires in their 60's or the way things are going virtually their 70's"

Why are you making this up?

Go and look at the Teachers Pension Scheme website.

Normal Pension Age in the scheme, since it was 'reformed', is 65.
Pilcrat: "I think teachers terms and conditions of employment are a bit on the generous side; retiring in your 50's for example. Everyone else retires in their 60's or the way things are going virtually their 70's" Why are you making this up? Go and look at the Teachers Pension Scheme website. Normal Pension Age in the scheme, since it was 'reformed', is 65. Traser
  • Score: 2

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