Standards at a £25,000-per-year Manchester independent school have gone from good to inadequate in just four years according to their most recent OFSTED inspection.
The report rated Manchester Jewish School for Special Education ‘inadequate’ across four key areas, including effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, outcomes for pupils and sixth form provision.
Safeguarding of the children was deemed a particular weakness; the report stated that leaders had ‘limited knowledge’ of safeguarding regulations, including the most recent statutory guidance on keeping children safe in education.
What’s more, the school’s safeguarding policy did not provide sufficient information to enable staff to fulfil their duties to keep pupils safe.
The school’s anti-bullying policy was also found to contain ‘insufficient detail.’
Curriculum coverage was judged ‘at best variable’, and and teaching ‘too varied in quality’. Students’ books showed the poor balance between Kodesh studies and the rest of the curriculum; with only two lessons each recorded for Maths and English between September and November.
The report said: “In some cases, older pupils completed the same worksheet 12 or sometimes 18 times in the period of a few weeks, when it was clear from the outset they could already do the work.”
Overall, the report concluded that rates of progress in almost all areas of the curriculum are ‘very slow’ for most pupils.
Sufficient administration was also found to be lacking: “The school does not keep a record of behavioural incidents or sanctions given to pupils. The school’s admission register does not contain all the required details.”
It said the dates when pupils join or leave the school are not recorded and leaders were unable to provide information about the school’s overall attendance.
On preparing children for their future, the report was damning, stating: “Pupils do not leave school with any qualifications, either academic or vocational.”
It went on to say that their employment prospects are ‘limited’, while post-16 pupils are not given opportunities for independent careers advice or appropriate work experience placements.
The report added: “This does not prepare them well enough for life.”
Nevertheless, the Bury Old Road school fell in to the ‘requires improvement’ category for ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’.
The school’s ethos and the relationships between staff and pupils were praised, while pupils were found to ‘value and respect others.’
Despite several calls from MM, Manchester Jewish School for Special Education has declined to comment.