Kobi Nazrul Primary School heavily criticised by Ofsted

The school at the centre of claims by Tower Hamlets Council that it was failing in education standards and governance has also today been criticised by Ofsted.
Last week the council applied to the Government for permission to replace the governors at Kobi Nazrul Primary School with immediate effect as part of an effort to improve educational performance and governance.
Following poor SATs results last year, the council conducted a review of the school and declared it to be a ‘school of concern’. It tried to work with the governors to make the necessary improvements but the majority of the governors resisted the council’s intervention.
On Thursday (July 3) the council applied to the Secretary of State to replace the governing body with an Interim Executive Board (IEB), which would run the school on an interim basis.
A decision on this application is expected to be announced by the Department for Education within the next few days but in the meantime, Ofsted has today (Thursday, July 10) published a damning report about the school, which confirmed many of the failings identified by the council’s
own review last year.
Ofsted concluded that Kobi Nazrul was “inadequate” and judged as requiring special measures. Its findings included:
– Governance is inadequate. Members of the governing body are too far removed from the school community to have any real impact on driving
improvement
– Strategic leadership and accountability are weak
– The governing body has not held school leaders to account for the progress of pupils and the quality of the teaching
– Leaders, including governors, cannot explain convincingly why pupils’ achievement has declined since the last inspection or why teaching is not improving
– The governing body has not checked that extra government funding is used effectively
– Governors have spent valuable time and resources challenging the local authority instead of focusing on the education of pupils.
The report concluded: “In accordance with the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.”
Whilst the council’s original application for an IEB significantly predated the Ofsted investigation, the Ofsted report does offer a useful independent assessment of the problems at the school.
Robert McCulloch-Graham, Tower Hamlets Council’s Director of Education, Social Care and Wellbeing, said: “The council is committed to high standards of education and governance. Ofsted has now confirmed our own findings: that the school’s current leadership unfortunately lacks the ability to make the necessary improvements at Kobi Nazrul.
“This council has an excellent track record of transforming underperforming schools and of taking tough action when the school does not cooperate.
“Tower Hamlets has 100 schools and only in a few circumstances has an IEB been required. However, in all of those cases the result has been very successful and with our support we fully expect Kobi Nazrul to return quickly to the excellent school it was two years ago.”
The council has been trying to work with the governing body at Kobi Nazrul to bring about improvements. The governors have now all agreed to step down but not with immediate effect. In the interests of the school’s pupils, the council wants the IEB introduced with immediate effect, which is why it last week formally applied to the Secretary of State for permission to initiate an IEB.
However, four governors who were receptive to the council’s efforts and agreed that an IEB was the correct approach, recently resigned with
immediate effect in an attempt to persuade the other governors to do likewise.
Two of these were appointed to the governing body by the council in April 2014 and the remaining two were parent governors elected in February 2014.
They are:
– Asik Miah (parent governor)
– Lutfur Rahman (parent governor) Please note: this governor, although sharing a name, should not be confused with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets
– Suroth Miah (LA governor)
– Shemla Nahar (LA governor)
The council would like to place on record that it is grateful for the hard work of these four governors.

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