Members and Trustees of Venturers Trust have been sent a Termination Warning Notice from the Department for Education (DfE), after Montpelier High School was rated ‘Inadequate’ and with ‘serious weaknesses’ by Ofsted earlier this year.
The school is in danger of losing its funding if improvements cannot be made to the satisfaction of the DfE.
The letter, from Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West Hannah Woodhouse, says ‘arrangements for safeguarding have been found not to be effective.’
This has been ‘compounded’ by record keeping and not a ‘strong enough’ oversight of safeguarding issues.
The school was also slated after pupils said they are ‘bullied frequently’ and ‘do not believe their concerns will be acted on’. Pupils also told inspectors they did not have a ‘trusted adult’ they could report concerns too.
As well as safeguarding and bullying, inspectors found the quality of education to be ‘not good enough’. Poor planning around some subjects limited the range of knowledge pupils could learn. The school was also found not to ‘prioritise’ early reading sufficiently.
Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Send) had mixed experiences. in some subjects they were given the support they needed to learn, but where they were less well supported, Ofsted said ‘it is because staff do not understand their needs well enough’.
Pupils across the school were at times given work not matching their needs, with chosen content being too easy.
The school must provide evidence of how it will improve and ensure effective safeguarding, by whom, as well as how it will deliver school improvements and how long this will take.
Venturers Trust is a Bristol based multi-academy trust sponsored by the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol. It has eight schools: Bannerman Road Community Academy, Barton Hill Academy, The Dolphin School, Fairlawn, The Kingfisher School, Merchants’ Academy, Montpelier High School, Venturers’ Academy and V6 Sixth Form.