A BLISTERING attack has been launched on education chiefs who “should be hanging their heads in shame” after a damning report on Northallerton school and sixth form.

Northallerton town councillors criticised leadership at the school and through the county council after the latest report from Ofsted put the school in special measures judging it inadequate in all areas.

Councillor Paul Atkin told members he was a father of eight who had all gone through the school and he had never seen such a bad report. He said his concerns were for the local community, but there was also increased pressure through lack of government funding.

He said: “Surely this was because teachers were demoralised. It was unfortunate that this coincided with the transfer of the school site from the Allertonshire school, the whole process was ill conceived. This is a crucial time for pupils and instead of providing a high level of education there has been a marked decline."

Councillor John Prest added: “This is an appalling report that reflects terribly on the school and the education department. They must have known something was going on when the four main jobs were going and they have done nothing, the council’s education department should be hanging their head in shame. It is a failing on everybody’s part, poor teachers, poor leadership and poor operational leadership from the county council."

Cllr Jack Dobson said the Ofsted report was “quite awful” but it was a shame the previous achievements at the school which had been very high had been forgotten, and the council had started to take action.

In a statement North Yorkshire county council said they fully accepted Ofsted's judgement and acknowledged the school had been through a turbulent time, but said they had already begun the recovery when Ofsted went in and Inspectors recognised that. They said Governance and leadership had been completely overhauled and they are carrying on with fundamental improvements in teaching and learning which was already bringing rapid improvement.

They add: "The team has pressed ahead with wholesale change, swiftly addressing the priorities of; improving behaviour, tackling bullying, listening to the concerns of students and parents and making students feel much safer. They are also introducing fundamental improvements in teaching and learning so that all lessons become consistently calm and engaging."