Children ‘on the roof’ and ‘trying to break into classrooms’ - Havering pupil referral service put in special measures

James Oglethorpe school and pupil referal unit

James Oglethorpe school and pupil referal unit - Credit: Archant

Drastic action has been taken at Havering’s pupil referral service after it was put in special measures by Ofsted.

The education watchdog’s report of Manor Green College follows shocking claims of young children at one of its centres launching missiles off the roof of the building and trying to break into classrooms at the school next door.

The college has four centres which teach children, aged seven to 16, who are not in mainstream school for behavioural or medical reasons.

It was deemed inadequate – the lowest possible rating – in all four areas of inspection; leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching and achievement of pupils.

Havering Council has stepped in to make “rapid improvements”, starting with the appointment of new head Kerry Linden.

Ms Linden will work with teachers at the four campuses in Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster, replacing the outgoing interim head who earned praise from Ofsted for his “clear vision” after taking over in November.

Inadequate teaching and training, low attendance and poor progress by students were all highlighted in the report.

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It also noted “required policies to monitor teachers’ performance” were not in place until the appointment of the interim head, whose good work has not had “time to be embedded”.

The council is hoping Ms Linden will carry on his good work.

She said: “We need to act immediately and are working on an action plan to address all issues raised by Ofsted.

“We want to challenge our students to have high expectations for themselves and encourage parents to help us to improve attendance.”

Parents of pupils at James Oglethorpe Primary in Ashvale Gardens, Upminster, said children were “in tears” when youngsters from Oglethorpe Unit disrupted their lesson earlier this month.

“Two boys from the PRU were trying to get into the classrooms and the children were all crying,” said one parent. “Another time three children got on to the roof and the whole school was in lockdown.”

At the time, Cllr Meg Davis, cabinet member for children and learning said the behaviour was “unacceptable”.

“We will not have bad behaviour from any pupils disrupting others in our schools,” she said.

Inspectors visited Manor Campus in Albert Road, Romford, Birnam Wood and Green Vale Campuses in Inskip Drive, Hornchurch, as well as the Oglethorpe Unit in February.