JFS rated inadequate amid 'deep-rooted' failings at safeguarding pupils
- Credit: Archant
A Jewish secondary school in Kenton has been rated Inadequate by education chiefs.
JFS, in the The Mall, was downgraded by Ofsted after inspectors found leaders did "not ensure all pupils are safe from harm" and that "many pupils report sexual bullying, including via social media".
The school was rated Good for the quality of education. However, its programmes for personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education and relationships and sex education (RSE) are "poor" the report said.
It is Inadequate overall and in terms of behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.
The report references "deep-rooted and wide-spread failings in the school’s safeguarding culture".
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"Many pupils do not feel confident to report safeguarding concerns, including when they have been victims of harmful sexual behaviour," it said.
"When vulnerable pupils are identified, leaders do not always take appropriate action to safeguard victims and challenge and support alleged perpetrators."
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A petition online has been signed by more than 5,500 people, calling for JFS to prioritise mental health.
The voluntary aided school has 2,053 pupils aged 11 to 18,
In 2006 and 2009 the school was rated as Outstanding by Ofsted. Following an inspection in September 2014 it was rated Inadequate and then Good two years later.
In 2017 Rachel Fink was made headteacher but she suddenly resigned at the end of May and the school is currently being led for one term by former Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw.
He told Jewish News that Brent Council “failed” to identify safeguarding concerns.
He said: “When they knew there were issues around safeguarding and mental health issues, they should have been in here monitoring the situation – well before Ofsted.
"The local council has failed this school, there is no question about that in my mind.”
A Brent Council spokesperson said: “We do not recognise the interim headteacher’s criticisms of the council on this matter.”
They added that following an Inadequate judgement "the local authority is required to intervene to produce a statement of action with the school, setting out the actions that need to be taken".
"Brent Council is focused on ensuring swift progress is made by the school on identified areas for improvement in the interests of all pupils," they said.
The council is liaising with the school's leadership and governing board, and United Synagogues, the foundation body of the school; the DfE’s Regional Schools Commissioner and "the other local authorities where most of the pupils live".
JFS has not responded to requests for an interview.