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School celebrates after glowing OFSTED report

Pupils at Oak View Academy celebrate Credit: North West Academies Trust

A school in Cheshire which was rated second worst in the country just three years ago is celebrating after being given a glowing OFSTED report by Government inspectors.

Greenfields Primary School, in Winsford, was placed in special measures by OFSTED officials who judged standards to be well below the required levels in 2012.

Two years later the school was ranked second bottom in the primary school league tables, which are based on exam results.

In 2014 it became part of Chester-based charitable organisation North West Academies Trust and relaunched as Oak View Academy.

Now the hardwork of staff and pupils has been rewarded after the school was rated as ‘good’ by the 2017 OFSTED nspection.

I'm really proud of what we've achieved. It's great we arerecognised as good, but we are on the road to outstanding and our drive tofurther improve the school continues.

Improving the school has been a huge team effort and we have had a lot of support from the governors, the Trust and the Timpson Foundation.

– Headteacher Fiona Rimmer

Teachers at Bollin School in Cheshire return to work

Teachers have returned to work at the Bollin School Credit: MEN

A group of teachers who were suspended after a video emerged of staff and parents throwing an out-of-hours party on the grounds of a troubled school have returned to work.

Bosses at The Bollin Primary School have confirmed that five of the seven teachers disciplined following the incident have been reinstated.

New leaders have also confirmed headteacher Michelle Brindle has officially left the crisis-hit Trafford school.

Last week Ofsted published a report describing the school, in Bowdon, as ‘broken’ and ‘in tatters’ last week, following an emergency inspection.

The education watchdog has recommended that Bollin be placed in special measures because ‘it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education’.

It was closed ‘with immediate effect’ in March after intervention by Trafford council.

The closure came after teachers walked out on strike and former headteacher, Mrs Brindle, left against a backdrop of disputes over working conditions and unresolved grievances.

A video then emerged appearing to show staff ‘celebrating’ and chanting in an apparent victory against the head.

The footage resulted in the suspension of seven members of staff.

A new headteacher, Kylie Spark, was appointed and a new interim executive board of governors was appointed.

An action plan to turn the school around has also been put in place. Bosses said five of the seven suspended teachers returned to work on Tuesday following the Easter break.

A number of teachers are back in school this morning. We said we would carry out our investigation as quickly as possible and we are.

In the interest of getting the school back on its feet that enquiry is ongoing.

I can confirm that Michelle Brindle is no longer in post. Our priority is to get the children back to a good classroom environment as soon as possible. I am confident we can make rapid progress.

– Councillor Brian Rigby, chairman of the interim executive board


Teachers at Manchester conference warn of lack of help for pupils with mental health needs

Children as young as four are suffering from mental health issues Credit: PA

Children as young as four are suffering from mental health issues such as panic attacks, anxiety and depression, a poll has found.

Almost all teachers (98%) say they have come into contact with pupils who are experiencing mental health issues.

These youngsters were most likely to be teenagers, with 58% of teachers saying they had seen issues in 15 to 16-year-olds and 55% in 13 and 14-year-olds.

But nearly a fifth (18%) of those polled by the NASUWT teaching union ahead of its annual conference in Manchester said they had been in contact with four to seven-year-olds showing mental health issues, and over a third (35%) had seen problems in youngsters aged seven to 11.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates warned there is concern among teachers about a gap in the availability of experts and counselling to help children with mental health needs.

Nine in 10 (91%) said they had experienced a pupil of any age suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, while 79% were aware of a pupil suffering from depression and 64% knew of a youngster who was self-harming.

Around half (49%) were aware of children with eating disorders, and a similar proportion (47%) knew about a youngster with obsessive compulsive disorder.

The poll asked teachers about the impact of mental health issues on pupil behaviour, and 89% agreed that it led to an inability to concentrate in class, 85% said it meant youngsters struggled to fully participate in class, and 77% agreed that it led to a pupil being isolated from other students or problems in making friends.

Over four-fifths (84%) said the pressure of exams and testing was contributing to mental health issues, 71% said pressure to be good academically was having an impact, and 36% said bullying played a part.

In addition, 91% said family problems such as ill health or a break-up had an impact on mental health, while 72% said social media played a part.

"It is clear that teachers and school leaders are seeing many more children and young people who are exhibiting the signs of serious mental distress.

"Teachers and school leaders take very seriously their duty of care to their students and it is clear there is a great deal of concern in the profession about the gulf in the availability of expert physiological support and counselling for pupils with mental health needs."

"The Prime Minister earlier this year pledged to improve mental health support for pupils. However, schools cannot address this issue alone and cuts to budgets and services in local authorities, health and education have all taken a heavy toll on the support available."

– NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates

Last month, YoungMinds urged the Government to tackle a "mental health crisis in our classrooms".

In an open letter to Theresa May, the charity said pupils' wellbeing should be considered as important as academic achievement, and called for full funding of wellbeing initiatives, better recognition for schools that do good work on the issue, and specific mental health training for teachers.

:: The NASUWT poll questioned 2,051 members in March.

The NASUWT meet in Manchester for a 4-day conference starting today (Friday).

Watch: School in video scandal gets OFSTED report

Bollin school in Bowden was once a thriving primary given an outstanding rating by Ofsted.

But in its latest report the education watchdog called it "a broken school" in "turmoil" where the teaching is "inadequate."

A former schools inspector has told Granada Reports the problem may not just be at Bollin.

And there could be other schools, currently rated as "outstanding" that he says could be heading for a similar "car crash."

Matt O'Donoghue has this exclusive report:

Corbyn promises "free primary school dinners"

Credit: pa

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is in Lancashire later... where he'll promise free school dinners for all primary school pupils if his party gets into power. He says the introduction of VAT on private school fees will help pay for the meals. Research has shown that children progress better if given a healthy diet.

No child in the UK should go hungry at school. The next Labour Government will provide all primary school children with a free school meal, invest in our schools, and make sure no child is held back because of their background.

– Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader


Drive to improve school attendance.

Credit: pa

Businesses in Liverpool are being asked to help in a drive to reduce truancy and improve attendance in some of the area's schools.

An Attendance Charter – backed by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce – will see firms promoting the importance of regular schooling with their staff.

Truancy Patrols, involving council staff and Merseyside Police, will be reintroduced to find pupils who are skipping school and tackle parents who keep their children off school without a good reason.

Businesses will help promote good attendance in schools Credit: pa

Recent figures show the effect of missing school on children's education:

  • A child who is 10 minutes late misses 32 hours a year of lost education.
  • A child who misses one day a week loses two months a year of education.
  • Half a day a week missed throughout school life equates to one full year of lost education.

Merseyside MP raises concerns over Knowsley A-level provision

Merseyside MP Maria Eagle has raised concerns in parliament that there will be nowhere for young people to study A-levels in Knowsley later this year.

She challenged the Government over the closure of the area's only sixth form to offer A-Level courses. Halewood Academy is due to close in August. The Department for Education approved its closure last summer.

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