Discovery School – Newcastle to be shut down

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 Discovery school in Newcastle to shut after Ofsted report said it was at ‘rock bottom’

Standards at a flagship free school have hit “rock bottom” with a group of “predatory pupils” roaming the institution and making others feel unsafe, a report has revealed.

Teachers, students and parents were told last week, before the education watchdog released its report, that the Discovery school in Newcastle would close for good at the end of the academic year.

Ofsted staff were called in for a snap inspection after safeguarding concerns were raised when a child was left in London during a school trip in March.
 
Their report revealed that staff were unable to cope with bad and sometimes dangerous behaviour, while teaching quality plummeted and children were left “underachieving”.
 
Inspectors said that last year the progress made by year 11 pupils was in the bottom 1% nationally and below minimum government standards. Rating the institution as “inadequate” the report said there was ineffective safeguarding and there had been several serious incidents.
 
In more detailed findings about behaviour, Ofsted inspectors wrote: “A hard core of pupils display riotous behaviour and they roam the school in a predatory manner. The small numbers of girls and others who are singled out as different are vulnerable and do not always feel safe.
 
The government withdrew funding for the specialist science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) school before its second-ever Ofsted report.
 
Opened in 2014, at a reported cost of £9m, the free school invited students from across north-east England to experience an “alternative option to a traditional school”. But during its first inspection in July 2017 inspectors said it had a “narrow and unbalanced” curriculum that was “failing to meet pupils’ needs”.

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