AN MP has told leaders of a school where discriminatory language is the ‘norm’ they have let Denton down badly.
A damning inspection of Denton Community College by Ofsted has uncovered several failings when it comes to dealing with pupils’ behaviour, with many admitting they feel unsafe.
Inspectors also deemed pupils ‘are not well prepared for the next steps in their education, employment or training.’
They also urged ‘immediate action’ on some failings.
Now the town’s MP Andrew Gwynne has spelled out what needs to happen at the Turner Lane site, saying: “I won’t accept drift from any quarters. This school needs to start performing better. And quickly.”
A scathing report following a team of Ofsted inspectors’ visit in December detailed why the school, whose headteacher is Greg Rule, has dropped from a rating of good to inadequate.
It states: “Inspectors found that incidents of poor behaviour are commonplace.
“A considerable number of pupils told inspectors that they do not feel safe at Denton Community College.
“Many parents and carers also expressed concerns about the safety and welfare of their children.
“This is because of the high number of incidents of poor behaviour, along with the use of derogatory and discriminatory language, which are part of everyday school life for many pupils.
“Many pupils told inspectors that this language is accepted as the ‘norm.
“A disproportionate number of pupils are suspended from school due to disruptive behaviour, physical violence and defiance towards staff.
“Many pupils are unable to regulate their behaviour, particularly during social times. A considerable number of pupils told inspectors that this makes them feel unsafe in school.
“There are too many incidents of violence. Pupils typically refuse to follow teachers’ instructions.
“Pupils are at risk because of violence, poor behaviour and discriminatory language which makes them feel unsafe.
“Leaders must take immediate action to ensure that pupils are safe in school.”
Ofsted also found Denton Community College does not prepare its pupils for life beyond secondary school.
And even though there is a curriculum in place, the way it is delivered does not encourage an understanding of the world around them.
The report adds: “As a result, some pupils do not develop a full understanding of how to live life in modern Britain.
“For example, some pupils do not understand the importance of showing tolerance and respect of others.
“These pupils routinely use discriminatory language which goes unchecked by staff. This makes some pupils, particularly those from minority groups, feel unsafe.
“Many pupils do not learn effectively. This is because teachers are not ambitious enough for pupils’ achievement and the curriculum is under-developed.
“Pupils develop large gaps in their learning and are not well prepared for the next steps in their education, employment or training.”
Seeing what was found in black and white has shocked many parents, although several have expressed they are not surprised after reports from their children.
And MP Gwynne has told the school things must turn around – and fast.
He said: “The Ofsted findings were shocking and unacceptable. Those responsible have let this community down badly.
“Every child has the right to a good quality education and every parent has the right to expect their child is safe in school. It’s clear there are serious failures in both areas at DCC.
“Given this is, for many Denton families, their only realistic choice for a local school, we need to see rapid improvements, as children only have one chance at this. I won’t accept drift from any quarters.
“This school needs to start performing better. And quickly.
“I also want to ensure that any new Academy Sponsor for DCC is chosen quickly, and is the right fit for the school to turn things around.
“I want to ensure the best interests of the pupils and parents are uppermost when these decisions are taken, and that the new management is held fully to account to get swift improvements in behaviour, standards, safety and educational outcomes.”