Mandeville School staff are not doing enough to get out of special measures according to an Ofsted report, while the school’s academy plans have also hit the buffers due to a financial crisis.
The school was rated as inadequate in November 2013, and a third monitoring report published last week described a chaotic staffing structure, while adding that the Mandeville has actually taken a step backwards in terms of its progression out of special measures.
These problems have led to Ofsted recommending that no newly qualified teachers be appointed before their next visit.
State-of-the-art new facilities including a PE and performing arts spaces also lie empty, as no money can be found to furnish them.
The report read: “Since the last monitoring inspection a permanent principal [Andrew Hencken] has been appointed taking up post in November 2014.
“The deputy headteacher has left the school and has not yet been replaced. One assistant headteacher has been on sick leave since January and another has resigned with effect from the end of term to take up a promotion in another school.
“Two assistant headteachers have joined the school, with responsibility for mathematics and science.
“Three new science teachers have been appointed and will start after Easter. There are currently six teacher vacancies covered by supply staff. The Buckinghamshire Learning Trust has funded a consultant headteacher to work alongside the principal for three days a week since the beginning of February 2015.”
The report also said that although building works to prepare for academy status have been completed, the new facilities remain unfurnished and unoccupied because no funding has been secured for fixtures and fittings.
Mandeville, which has more than 1,000 pupils, has been granted ministerial approval to convert to an academy, but this has been delayed due to lack of funding from potential investors.
Commenting on the standard of leadership at the school the report read: “The school is in a weaker position than at its last monitoring inspection.
“Signs of improvement identified then have not been sustained or developed. The appointment of a new principal has partially stabilised the leadership of the school, but capacity for improvement is limited by the current lack of a fully staffed and operational senior leadership team.
“In the short time since his appointment the principal has been heavily involved in the academisation process, but the delay and uncertainty associated with this has become a distraction and an obstacle to improvement.”
This newspaper has contacted the school, Bucks County Council and the Bucks Learning Trust for comment.