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Walderslade Girls’ School: Violence criticised by Ofsted | #schoolsaftey

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Inspectors said too many staff and pupils felt unsafe

Pupils shoving and verbally abusing each other in corridors have left staff and children feeling unsafe at a failing girls’ school, Ofsted has said.

Walderslade Girls’ School had been affected by some pupils’ “violent and discriminatory behaviours”, an urgent inspection found in February.

That month, a video of a classroom brawl at the school in Chatham went viral on social media.

Newly-appointed head teacher Louise Campbell said safety had improved.

Ofsted downgraded the secondary school from good to requires improvement, in a report on Thursday. Ofsted would not comment on whether the inspection was triggered by a complaint.

However, Ms Campbell, who joined the school as acting head teacher last November and became substantive head teacher this month, said Ofsted visited “on the back of an unpleasant incident”.

Writing to parents on 12 May, she said she had taken “a hard line on violent behaviour”.

‘No place for aggression’

Criticising safeguarding, inspectors said: “The significant majority of pupils, and some staff, say that they feel unsafe.”

But inspectors praised performing arts and the school’s careers programme, and found behaviour in lessons was more positive, adding: “Many pupils want to work hard and talk enthusiastically about their studies”.

They rated quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, and leadership and management as inadequate. Personal development and sixth-form provision required improvement.

In her letter to parents last week, Ms Campbell said adaptations to safety included improved supervision at unstructured times, supervised toilets, new rules on mobile phone use, a one-way corridor system, and renewed focus on classroom rules.

She said: “There is absolutely no place for aggressive behaviour and students have been made aware that acts of violence towards each other is inappropriate and is neither condoned nor tolerated at Walderslade Girls’ School.”

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