Parents remain supportive after scathing Ofsted report

Lindisfarne Middle School
Lindisfarne Middle School

The revelation that a middle school in Alnwick requires special measures following its latest inspection has sparked a backlash among parents.

As reported in last week’s Gazette, an Ofsted report concluded that Lindisfarne Middle School is inadequate with the attainment of pupils, teaching, the governors and the local authority all taking flak.

But a number of parents remain behind the 400-pupil school with 81 parents so far sharing their opinions on Ofsted’s Parent View website.

A total of 94 per cent of respondents have agreed or strongly agreed that ‘my child is happy at the school’, 95 per cent say their child feels safe and 89 per cent agree that their child is well looked after.

In terms of teaching and learning, 85 per cent of parents strongly agree or agree that their child makes good progress and the same proportion say that their child is taught well.

The statements which have sparked the most number of parent disagreeing are ‘my child receives appropriate homework for their age’ (15 per cent) and ‘I receive valuable information from the school about my child’s progress’ (14 per cent).

Overall, 83 per cent of the respondents would recommend Lindisfarne Middle School to another parent.

One parent, who has two daughters at the school and did not wish to be named, told the Gazette that she does not live within the Lindisfarne catchment area, but chose it after visiting all of the Alnwick schools.

“I feel it’s such a shame for the school and staff – I think it’s an excellent school.

“I’m in the school a lot and it’s (the Ofsed report) totally the opposite of what I see.

“My daughters are both excelling in the school and they both love it.

“The teachers must encourage them to do their best, because they always want to read and do their homework.

“Last time (in May 2012), they got satisfactory and I was so sure that this time, it was going to be good.”

And another parent, Eleanor Phillips, from Longhoughton, wrote to the Gazette to express her dismay.

“I was disappointed to hear that Lindisfarne Middle School has recently received a poor Ofsted report,” she said.

“My two sons attended the school several years ago and as parents we only ever held the quality of education in school in high esteem.

“As a visitor to the school several times last week, I can only report my findings to be that the 150-plus children I personally had contact with have emotional intelligence to a high degree.

“The children were courteous, welcoming, curious and engaged in the activities.

“They were mature in their questions and respectful of each other’s views in group activities

“They showed their enthusiasm and were clearly engaged in the learning.

“Lindisfarne is clearly getting something right.”

The school has ordered a review of its governance and the county council has pledged support.

Last week, Coun Robert Arckless, policy board member for children’s services at the authority, said: “I’m hopeful that in the Alnwick case, we can reach some sort of consensus at a local level.”