Mansfield's Garibaldi School still 'Good', despite poor behaviour of some pupils

Concern about the poor behaviour of some pupils has failed to prevent one of Mansfield’s most respected schools retaining its ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted inspectors.

By Richard Silverwood
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:30 pm
The 936-pupil Garibaldi School in Forest Town, which has held on to its 'Good' rating from Ofsted inspectors.

However, The Garibaldi School in Forest Town will now be monitored more closely so that the education watchdog can ensure it does not have to be downgraded.

Instead of its next inspection being in four years’ time, as with most ‘Good’ schools, it will now be within the next two years.

The inspectors’ latest report was largely positive, with most pupils found to be “upholding the school’s values of pride, respect and achieve”.

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James Aldred, the head teacher at The Garibaldi School in Forest Town.

But “a minority of pupils engage in disrespectful behaviour towards other pupils and school facilities”, such as the toilets.

The inspectors unearthed “incidents of low-level disruption” that interrupted lessons, and found that “some pupils use inappropriate language”, including of a “sexualised and homophobic” nature.

Some teachers did not clamp down on this hard enough, and although pupils were confident bullying would be dealt with, it still reoccurred sometimes.

The report warned: “Leaders should ensure that all pupils understand what constitutes appropriate behaviour, including in lessons and in their interaction with others.

"This is so that all pupils may benefit from a positive school experience and achieve as highly as they can.”

Head teacher James Aldred responded by pointing out how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected Garibaldi.

He said: “Like all schools, we have had to contend with the lasting effects of the pandemic and the continued challenges it brings.

"High levels of absence among pupils and staff, as well as the disruption to learning habits and routines, created a significant challenge for students.”

The Garibaldi School has 936 students on its books, including 70 in a sixth form, where the conduct of pupils was found by Ofsted to be “exemplary”.

It is one of about dozen schools in the East Midlands that is part of the Nova Education Trust, which it joined in 2017. Alongside the head is executive head teacher Ryan Hawley, while the chief executive of the trust is Ashfaq Rahman.

Ofsted found that pupils felt safe and enjoyed going to the school, which was "friendly” and boasted a “calm and orderly” environment.

"Most pupils attend well and work hard,” the report continued. “Relationships with staff are positive and supportive, and teachers’ expectations are high in most subjects.

"Pupils achieve well, and are encouraged to think about their future aspirations beyond their time at the school.

"They receive effective careers education and are well prepared for their next stage in education and employment. Pupils also enjoy opportunities to contribute to charity work.

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"Leaders, including governors, have a clear vision for the future of the school. They are ambitious for pupils and are keen to promote a culture of high aspiration.”

The inspectors found that governors “hold leaders to account well”, and that staff were well supported.

"Staff are proud to work at the school,” the report said. “They appreciate the open-door policy of leaders to discuss their concerns.”

Teachers also received plenty of training, including to ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities received the help they needed.

The arrangements for safeguarding were also effective, with staff well trained on harmful sexual behaviour and radicalisation.

One other area Garibaldi could improve, according to Ofsted, concerned its “ambitious” programme of personal development, which entailed guidance for pupils about relationships and sex education, different faiths and British values.

There was “inconsistency in how teachers deliver the programme”, leaving some pupils “struggling to recall what they have learned”.

The inspectors felt it was important that “pupils receive high-quality opportunities to learn about the wider world, so they know how to contribute positively to society”.

Head Mr Aldred promised to “continue to develop the personal development curriculum to support all students post-pandemic”.

He said he was “absolutely delighted” that Garibaldi continued to be regarded a ‘Good’ school and added:

“Staff, students, governors, the community and I are rightly proud of our school.

"We are pleased our academic achievements and quality of provision have been recognised. The work is never done, and we now start to build upon this success.”

Executive head Mr Hawley said: “The school provides an environment for learners to feel safe, develop, grow and achieve.

"I am extremely proud of the resilience and hard work of all colleagues during an incredibly challenging period in all of our lives.”