A Solihull infant school previously rated outstanding by Ofsted has been placed under special measures, with inspectors blaming ‘failures in senior leadership and governance.’
Damson Wood Nursery and Infant School has been rated ‘inadequate’ across the board following a surprise Ofsted inspection in September.
Headteacher Yvonne Glover, who was appointed to the role in 2012, has been on leave since the day of the inspection and Kay Luther-Jones – a retired headteacher drafted in to support Mrs Glover in July – has now been appointed as ‘acting head’ at the school.
The Ofsted report, which was published on Tuesday, has criticised the leadership at the school and said the governors resigned at the end of the spring term, leaving the school without a governing body.
The report said: “Failures in senior leadership and governance are at the root of the school’s muddled and chaotic position.
“This school is in crisis because there is no confidence in the headteacher’s leadership. As a consequence, staff morale is low. Many staff are on temporary contracts.
“Leadership at all levels, including governance, is inadequate. The school is without a governing body and therefore lacks any effective strategic direction.”
The school was rated outstanding by Ofsted in 2007 and in 2011, under the rules of the Education Bill, the school was told by inspectors it did not need to undergo a routine inspection unless any concerns were raised.
The surprise inspection took place in September after Ofsted became aware of concerns over leadership and management at the school. One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “It is unbelievable that in just two years a school can go from outstanding to a school under special measures. Parents are extremely angry and we do feel this is something Solihull Council should have picked up a lot sooner.”
Coun Joe Tildesley, cabinet member for education, skills and culture, said: “It is disappointing that any school in Solihull is less than good.
“As the Ofsted report reflects, once we became aware of the breakdown in relations with staff, governors and parents, we acted quickly and issued a warning notice.
“We are now doing everything we can to work with Damson Wood Nursery and Infant School to improve the situation. In July Kay Luther-Jones was appointed to support the headteacher, and as indicated in the Ofsted report, she has brought much-needed stability and order to the school.”