THE MEDIA often get accused of concentrating on the negative – highlighting when things go wrong in our public services while failing to highlight the enormous achievements taking place in our hospitals and schools every day.

Local newspapers have always strived to do things differently from the national media in this respect. We’ll tell you when there’s a problem in our local services, but we’ll also highlight their awards, achievements, anniversaries, celebrations to give you a fair reflection of what’s happening in your community.

This applies to Ofsted reports too. We’ll make sure any Ofsted report gives the full picture; the improvements the inspectors wanted to see as well as the schools’ success.

It’s worth making this point because the Ofsted report into Northallerton School and Sixth Form College pointed to some catastrophic failings in the school and we hope our article reflects that. In fact, it was the most damming Ofsted report many of us journalists have seen in our careers.

The timing of the inspection was harsh; the entirely new leadership team sent in to turn around the school had only been there two weeks when the inspectors arrived and can’t be expected to shoulder any of the blame.

But people do need to be held accountable, the public needs to know and change needs to be swift; these young people don’t get another go at secondary education – it’s their future at stake.

The parents who knew their children were being failed weren’t being listened to, nor were the young people trying to speak up about bullying and disruptive behaviour. The report made it clear bullying was widespread and students were not being kept safe.

Now these past failings are out in the open, let’s hope the new leaders and governors in the school have the space, time and money to see the school claw back it’s reputation as an excellent school.