Leyton News

Students and staff feel ‘physically at risk’ at Leyton school

The school has gone from “good” to “inadequate” after becoming an academy, according to Ofsted
By Victoria Munro

Lammas School in Seymour Road (credit: Google Streetview)
Lammas School in Seymour Road (credit: Google Streetview)

Students and even a few staff report feeling “physically at risk” at a Leyton secondary school due to unchecked bullying and disorder.

Following an inspection in February, Ofsted gave Lammas School in Seymour Road, which has more than 750 pupils aged 11 to 18, its lowest-possible “inadequate” rating.

Inspectors found students were “generally not enthusiastic about their experience at school” and reported regular “homophobic and sexist name-calling”.

Ofsted’s report on the school, published this week, also said “poor and distracting behaviour in lessons… hinders teaching” but “goes unchallenged by leaders and staff”.

The report reads: “Behaviour in lessons and around the school, including in corridors, is often disorderly. A few pupils and a few staff said that this makes them feel physically at risk. 

“Some staff, including leaders, do not challenge pupils’ poor behaviour, or if they do, it sometimes does not make any difference. 

“Other pupils said that they might not bother to talk to staff about concerns, including name-calling and bullying, because they were not confident that staff would take any action to improve matters or ensure that these incidents did not occur again.”

Inspectors also noted that many staff expressed concerns about their “workload, well-being and lack of support from leaders”, especially when it came to managing students’ behaviour.

They added: “The [academy] trust does not have an accurate understanding of what life in school is like on a day-to-day basis. Its views on this, as well as on the priorities for improvement, differ from the views held by pupils and staff.”

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Responding to the Ofsted report, a school spokesperson told the Echo: “An action plan addressing the issues highlighted in the report has been sent to Ofsted. 

“We continue to work closely with Ofsted to improve our rating and to regain the ‘good’ judgement awarded to the school in 2018.”

Lammas School was rated “good” by Ofsted prior to joining the Griffin Schools Trust (GST). The trust runs 10 primary and infant schools, including two in Leyton, and three secondary schools.

In 2020, following an incident where a student was stabbed at a GST secondary school in Milton Keynes, regional schools commissioner Dame Kate Dethridge wrote that she fears the trust “lacks the ability to drive forward rapid and sustainable school improvement”.

She wrote: “The trust currently operates three secondary schools, two of which are performing well below the national average for pupil outcomes and have done so over a number of years.

“In that context, I have serious concerns about the capacity of the trust to provide and monitor the high-quality intervention needed.”

At the time, GST insisted that the issues at its Milton Keynes school were not a reflection on its ability to manage schools overall, noting that its two Leyton primary schools were both considered “outstanding” by Ofsted. 

A spokesperson added that, in 2012 and 2013, the trust had taken on a number of schools forced to convert to academies due to poor performance, including seven in special measures. 

The two other Leyton schools run by GST are Riverley Primary School in Park Road and Willow Brook Primary School in Church Road. Both still have an “outstanding” rating at the time of writing.

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