Canon Slade children are safe despite sex allegations, says Ofsted

Canon Slade School is keeping its children safe, Ofsted says

Canon Slade School is keeping its children safe, Ofsted says

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

A TOP-performing school at the centre of a third sex allegation is keeping children safe, according to education watchdogs.

But Oftsed inspectors said further improvements should be made at Canon Slade School to “strengthen safeguarding good practice”.

Ofsted was drafted into Canon Slade after its chief inspector expressed concern about the “effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements at the school”.

The inspection team met with a representative from Bolton Council’s safeguarding team and the Church of England Diocesan director of education as well as the headteacher, staff, pupils and governors.

The visit followed a local authority safeguarding review, which put forward a set of recommendations.

Both inspections were carried out after a teacher at the Bradshaw Brow school was arrested on suspicion of “inciting sexual activity with a child”.

The teacher, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been bailed until September.

The arrest in June came in the same month as another Canon Slade teacher, Andrew Welsh, admitted a catalogue of sexual activity with a child and was sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

In April, 2012, Canon Slade science teacher and father-of-two Andrew Ward was jailed for downloading more than 9,000 child porn images.

Inspectors reported: “The school’s safeguarding arrangements meet requirements.”

Ofsted added that pupils “expressed high confidence in the school, both in respect of their safety and in the quality of teaching and learning” and that “safe practices” are followed when recruiting staff.

Inspectors added that the school receives “strong” support from Bolton Council in “refining and improving school safeguarding procedures and practice” and enlists the help of agencies in supporting and advising vulnerable students.

Pupils were found to receive “good quality” guidance in how to keep safe and staff also received updates on safeguarding, including e-safety and the use of social media networks.

In October, Bolton Council will lead a safeguarding training session for the school staff.

Ofsted inspectors said: “Senior leaders and governors recognise that further improvements to procedures and practice will enhance and promote a strengthening of safeguarding good practice beyond statutory minimum requirements.”

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We are pleased the school met the safeguarding standards. We work hard with all our schools to ensure safeguarding is a priority.”

The Diocesan director of education, Canon Maurice Smith CB added: “I am assured by the judgement of the no-notice inspection by an expert Ofsted team, that Canon Slade School’s safeguarding arrangements meet requirements.”

Comments (1)

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11:56pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Love Bolton says...

As a parent I do worry about children who may not have been able to find an adult at school to confide in. It appears, from my external view, that there is a level of secrecy that needs to be changed.

It somehow seems to be disconnected from the normal schools around, which some may think is a good thing, but when you consider secrecy enables more secrecy, I am not so sure.

Parents with children at the school that I know worry about the lack of parental engagement, with just two meetings at the school per school year being the normal level of interaction.

Looks like the involvement of others through training and inclusion might improve things - I hope so.
As a parent I do worry about children who may not have been able to find an adult at school to confide in. It appears, from my external view, that there is a level of secrecy that needs to be changed. It somehow seems to be disconnected from the normal schools around, which some may think is a good thing, but when you consider secrecy enables more secrecy, I am not so sure. Parents with children at the school that I know worry about the lack of parental engagement, with just two meetings at the school per school year being the normal level of interaction. Looks like the involvement of others through training and inclusion might improve things - I hope so. Love Bolton
  • Score: -8

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