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Birmingham LA school downgraded from ‘outstanding’ for off-rolling

Pippa Allen-Kinross
November 13, 2019

A Birmingham school has been downgraded from ‘outstanding’ after Ofsted found it was off-rolling pupils.

Holte School becomes the second local authority school to see its grade fall for removing pupils from the school roll, a year after Harrop Fold in Salford was put in special measures for the practice.

In the report, which was published today, inspectors warned that a “small number” of pupils study away from the school and leaders “remove some of those in Year 11 from the school’s roll. They should not do this.”

The report said leaders could not give “a clear reason” why pupils were removed from the school roll, and there was “no evidence that this practice benefits the pupils”.

“It means that information the government publishes about the school is not accurate. Ofsted refers to this practice as ‘off-rolling’. It should not happen.”

However, inspectors conceded that the pupils who are educated in alternative provision are “well cared for” and achieve good results.

More than half of the pupils at Holte School are disadvantaged, and four fifths speak English as an additional language.

The school was said to do “many things very well indeed” and described as a “welcoming, harmonious, multi-cultural community”. It was praised for placing “as high a priority on developing pupils as young citizens as it does on academic success”.

Holte School has now been rated ‘requires improvement’. It was last inspected in September 2012, when it was rated ‘outstanding’.

Birmingham City Council, which runs the school, told the Birmingham Mail it was “working to address the areas for development identified”.

“The school remains committed to providing the highest standard of education and care for its pupils, which was recognised by inspectors”.

Off-rolling was flagged in another Ofsted report of a local authority school published today.

Saint Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School in Liverpool was rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors, who visited the school on September 17.

The report noted: “In the past, leaders have removed a small number of Year 11 pupils from the school register. These pupils attended alternative provision. This was not done with the pupils’ best interests in mind. Leaders ensure this does not happen anymore.”

Yesterday, Ofsted published a monitoring visit report of Inspiration Trust’s East Point Academy, which criticised the trust’s response to high numbers of pupils moving to home education.

*This article was edited to make clear East Point Academy is run by Inspiration Trust