School placed in special measures after being slammed by Ofsted

Glendene Academy in Easington Colliery.
Glendene Academy in Easington Colliery.

THE school at the centre of a serious fraud investigation has been slammed by education bosses.

Glendene Arts Academy has been placed in special measures for a catalogue of failings, including some of the governors not being properly vetted and the improvement plan not being fit for purpose.

Ofsted bosses said the Easington school, which caters for children aged two to 19 years old with special needs, is inadequate in all areas and urgent action needs to be taken to improve the safeguarding of students.

It is another blow for the Crawlaw Road school, where three people were arrested earlier this year as part of a Durham Police investigation.

Glendene was rated as good in March 2012, before leaving local authority control and becoming an academy six months later. Now Durham County Council has been called back in to help put things right at the school.

In their latest report, Ofsted inspectors said problems included the school’s work to keep students safe being inadequate, not all serious incidents that need restraint being recorded, the central record of safe recruitment checks being incomplete and some governors had not undertaken Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Inspectors said: “Pupils, especially those who have the most profound-learning difficulties and those who are the most able, do not make enough progress because of weaknesses in assessment and planning for their learning.”

They said teaching is inadequate, behaviour management is not consistent, attendance is too low and staff morale is low.

Vanessa Elcock, acting deputy headteacher at Glendene, said work is under way to bring about “rapid and sustained improvement”.

Those arrested as part of the fraud investigation into the alleged misspending of £162,000, a 57-year-old man and his 56-year-old wife, which the Mail believes to be Eric Baker, principal at Glendene, who is on sick leave, and his wife, Marian Baker, and a 41-year-old man, are on police bail.