Complaints prompt unannounced visit from Ofsted inspectors

The Harbour School

The Harbour School - Credit: Archant

Pupil safety and behaviour at The Harbour School in Wilburton has deteriorated over the past two years, according to inspectors.

Ofsted said that a lack of leadership at the school led to “a period of instability” for pupils and staff and resulted in a lack of adequate protection.

The verdict came following an unannounced inspection from Ofsted, prompted by “two complaints which raised serious concerns”.

In her report, inspector Heather Yaxley said: “Over the past year, procedures to safeguard pupils did not adequately protected pupils or staff.

“There were too many incidents of inappropriate behaviour in the autumn and spring terms. Too many pupils were restrained or excluded from school on too many occasions. The attendance of too many pupils is too low.

“Low attendance together with the high incidence of disruptive behaviour has reduced

pupils’ opportunities for good academic achievement and personal development.”

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The Harbour School caters for 65 pupils aged between 5 and 16 with behavioural and emotional difficulties.

The inspector noted that Cambridgeshire County Council kept track of the school’s progress and, in October last year, issued a warning notice for the school to improve.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “The county council was aware of the issues raised by Ofsted and, as the report acknowledges, acted quickly and decisively to begin to address them.

“An action group is in place to ensure that improvements are made rapidly. The acting head and his colleagues are working tirelessly to bring about the necessary changes.”