Academy complains to Ofsted after critical inspection

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy has made a formal complaint to Ofsted.

BACA1Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) has made a formal complaint to Ofsted after a critical inspection report by the education watchdog.

The academy said the report “failed the common-sense test”, as governors expressed misgivings about the way Ofsted inspectors had undertaken the inspection.

Inspectors said the academy “requires improvement”, the third-lowest of four possible verdicts - and the same as when it was last inspected two years ago.

The most recent inspection was conducted on December 3 and 4.

In a statement, an academy spokesperson said: “BACA was disappointed with the overall judgment of requires improvement.

“The governing body of the academy have submitted a robust rebuttal against the process and conduct experienced during the inspection in the form of an official complaint and expects to hear back from Ofsted in the new year.”

Dylan Davies, the principal - who joined in January - said: “The staff at BACA are proud of our school and determined to further develop the academy for the benefit of our students and the wider community. We thank everyone for their support.”

Peter Kyle, the chair of governors, said: “Educational improvement has been at BACA’s heart from the beginning, driven by unstinting commitment by teachers, students and our sponsor.

“That’s why academic achievement has more than doubled, the gap between pupil-premium and non-pupil-premium students has closed and attainment in subjects like English are far exceeding the national average.

“We know more than anyone, therefore, that continuous improvement is required by all schools and accept many of Ofsted’s findings.

“However, governors unanimously felt that the recent inspection did not sufficiently set the need for improvement firmly enough into the context of significant achievement at the school.

“Put simply, the outcome of this inspection has failed the ‘common-sense test’.

“Governors also have significant misgivings around the tone and conduct of inspectors as they dispensed their duties.

“In the interests of defending the astonishing commitment of BACA students and staff, the governing body have taken the tough decision to challenge aspects of this inspection.

“A formal complaint has been submitted to Ofsted and we eagerly await its outcome.”

While many schools complain about Ofsted inspections and challenge the verdicts, it is rare for the watchdog to revise the grade that has been given. It may return earlier than otherwise planned to carry out a reinspection.