A GOVERNING body has been sacked by a council after an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has sacked the board of governors at Longshaw Nursery School and Childcare Centre, in Crosby Road, Blackburn, last Monday and has now appointed an interim executive board. The decision to replace the five governors comes after Ofsted inspectors rated the school ‘inadequate’ following an inspection last May.

The Ofsted report highlighted issues around leadership and management at the children’s education facility but found nursery provision, in terms of teaching and outcomes for pupils, were to a ‘good’ standard. Following the inspection the local authority applied to the Secretary of State for Education to replace the existing governance arrangements.

The new interim board, which hasn’t been named, will be made up of a senior finance professional, an HR professional, a local childcare private provider, a retired head teacher and a senior member of school staff. It has been tasked with delivering improvements after Ofsted’s recent judgement.

Schools boss Cllr Dave Harling, who is the executive member for schools and education, said: “I am confident we have a strong group of leaders in place and feel that their skills and experience will be invaluable in addressing the issues highlighted by Ofsted to make improvements.

“The governing body’s main priorities will be to support pupils, staff and parents and set out a clear plan of action for improvements over the next 12 months.

“We look forward to working with the new board and build on the progress that is being made and would also like to thank the outgoing governing body for all their hard work.”

The nursery website has been deactivated since Monday but letters have been set out to parents to explain the new governance arrangements.
One parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she was concerned about the council’s ‘heavy-handed’ approach as she claims security was hired to oversee the takeover and the locks inside and on the gates have been changed.

She said: “It’s like hitting an egg with a hammer.”

Lisa Wade, Longshaw Nursery School’s acting centre manager, said: “We are pleased that Ofsted recognised that the nursery provision here is ‘good’ and we are proud to have staff that go above and beyond to make sure all our children get the best start.”

Cllr Denise Gee, the shadow executive member for schools and education, said: “If a facility is inadequate we need to look at the reasons why and do out best to improve it and if it means to removing the body to bring in new blood that’s obviously what the decision has been made for.

“Every child’s education matters and every moment of a child’s education not being the best we can deliver in the borough is not good enough.”