Watchdogs check on Canon Slade school after string of sex investigations

Canon Slade school

Canon Slade school

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

EDUCATION watchdogs have carried out two inspections at a Bolton school at the centre of a sex allegation.

Governors at Canon Slade School have moved to reassure parents that "safeguarding" at the school meets the standards expected.

Ofsted, the government’s education watchdog, has carried out a review of safeguarding and child protection at the school, and the local authority also carried out an inspection.

Governors requested a full “review of safeguarding policies and procedures” 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 again 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.

In a statement the school said: “We can confirm that Ofsted has carried out a one-day safeguarding review and that the school has met with the standards of the Ofsted framework for inspection.

“A letter from the chairman of governors is to be sent out to parents/carers and the full details of the Ofsted report will be published on both the school’s and Ofsted’s websites in due course.”

The letter was sent home to parents yesterday informing them of the action the school had taken since the arrest.

The letter from chairman of governors, the Rev Canon Matt Thompson stated: “I am pleased to inform you that the school meets the safeguarding requirements described in the current Ofsted framework for inspection.

"The governors, along with the head and the staff of Canon Slade School, approach our responsibilities for care and safeguarding with the highest level of priority.

“I trust the actions we have taken will reassure you we have taken the necessary steps to demonstrate to the school community, our partners and external agencies that our policies and procedures are as robust as we believe them to be.

“There is absolutely no place in our approach for any complacency and so we will continue to work with our partners to enhance our systems and processes even futher.

“The school will be also be seeking your help and views on this early in the new academic year.”

Canon Slade is one of Bolton’s top performing schools. It was marked as outstanding by Ofsted and is one of the best in the country for its GCSE results.

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