Birmingham's Starbank School rated as 'inadequate'

Written by on September 11, 2019

A school which faced walkouts by staff over concerns about violence from pupils has been rated as ‘inadequate’.

Ofsted inspectors said the behaviour of a “significant minority” of pupils at Starbank School in Yardley was “poor and unsafe”, leaving other youngsters and some staff “feeling vulnerable”.

NASUWT union members walked out on 27 June, calling for a stronger response to bad behaviour in the school.

Birmingham City Council said a plan was in place to address the issues.

The school, which teaches three to 16-year-olds, was rated ‘outstanding’ after its last full inspection in 2012.

The report, following an unannounced visit to the school in July, Ofsted said too many pupils in the secondary part of the school were defiant, ignored requests and showed “a complete lack of respect” for staff.

It said leaders “have not kept pace with managing the expansion of the school’s age range and size sufficiently well”, adding “worsening behaviour, fractured leadership and staff absence have led to the school’s decline.”

But, it said, pupils claimed views about behaviour portrayed by the media, including the use of knives, were “over-exaggerated”.

Inspectors agreed, and said “media myths” had added to the difficulties leaders were experiencing in managing behaviour.

About 30 members of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) walked out at the school in June, and claimed a “knife audit” needed to take place at Starbank, along with extra training for teachers and a behaviour policy for pupils.

It also said the primary part of the school was “well led and managed”.

A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “We have seen the Ofsted report and, like the school, we are of course disappointed with the findings.

“An improvement plan is already in place and we will continue to work closely with the leadership team to address all the issues identified so that all children get the education they need and deserve.”

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