Parents of pupils at Northfield Academy have been issued a letter saying that “insufficient progress” has been made at raising standards at the troubled school.
Education Scotland has published the results of its most recent inspection carried out in September – telling parents that a number of areas “still require urgent attention”.
Last month the P&J revealed that Aberdeen City Council has carried out its own inspection since then, with inspectors saying there were some promising signs of progress.
They said bonding trips and adding “less traditional” courses to the curriculum were playing their part in the turnaround, and also highlighted that more youngsters were attaining higher grades thanks to changes to the S4-S6 curriculum.
Review carried out in September
During Education Scotland‘s most recent review three months ago, inspectors said they were still concerned about developments to improve numerous aspects of the school.
External inspectors said they had found small improvements since the previous review in January, but that some areas still require “urgent attention” including pupil attendance, concerns about bullying and leadership.
Shortly after the inspection took place, former Northfield Academy headteacher Douglas Watt quit his role after three-and-a-half years due to “personal reasons”.
He has since been replaced by Craig McDermott, who took over the reins at the beginning of November.
Education Scotland told parents in a letter today: “We are maintaining contact with the school and will carry out a progress visit within three months of the publication of this letter.
“We will discuss with Aberdeen City Council the details of this visit.
“Following the visit, we will write to you as parents informing you of the progress the school has made.”
‘Everybody wants the best for Northfield Academy’
Councillor Martin Greig, convener of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, said it “always takes time” for Education Scotland to process and publish inspection reports.
He said: “We were given the update at the education committee and a fairly transparent verbal update.
“Everybody is wanting what’s best for the school. It will take time to change the culture.
Our expectations are very high and we want movement as swift as possible.
“There is already a very significant support in place.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman added: “Since the return inspection in September, considerable further action has been taken to address the areas for improvement.”
Tumultuous couple of years for Northfield Academy
Last year, staff voted to strike over the abuse they were subjected to by children.
The first minister was forced to intervene, with many threatening to quit the profession rather than continuing to contend with aggressive pupils.
In March this year, the school asked the Scottish Government for additional help after inspectors gave the school the lowest grade in all four areas of assessments.
And in May an expert in tackling armed robberies and gang violence joined a taskforce set up to end violent attacks on teachers.