Campaign launched to save under-threat South Shields School, with 2,000 signing mum’s petition

South Shields School.
South Shields School.

Parents at an under-threat school in South Tyneside are calling on education watchdogs to re-evaluate its “inadequate” rating. South Shields School, in Nevinson Avenue, South Shields, has been left in limbo after a previous Ofsted inspection led to it being forced to become an academy.

With no sponsor coming forward, its future has now been thrown into doubt despite improvements made at the school since headteacher Allie Denholm took over.

Allie Denholm,  headteacher of South Shields School

Allie Denholm, headteacher of South Shields School

This year the school recorded its best GCSE grades with results in core subjects rising by 22% on last year.

A meeting of the council’s cabinet on Wednesday saw a decision over its future - which would have triggered the launch of a consultation - being deferred.

A petition launched by parent Kelly Allen - whose son attends the school - is calling on the council to help save the school.

Related: Councillors shelve decision on future of under-threat South Shields School

The school has achieved its best GCSE results ever and we feel the council should be pushing for another Ofsted inspection.

Kelly Allen

It has been signed by almost 1,500 people since it was launched on Wednesday.

Parents want the council to request Ofsted come back in to re-evaluate the school in the hope it might save the school.

Mrs Allen, from Whiteleas said: “The headteacher has and is doing all she can.

“The school has achieved its best GCSE results ever and we feel the council should be pushing for another Ofsted inspection.

“It just seems everyone is concentrating on the negatives and not the positives.”

She added: “My son is going into year 10 and the school has really supported him. There are a lot of pupils at the school with special needs and their parents can’t praise the school enough.

“My daughter attended the school and back then it did have a bad reputation. There were a lot of supply teachers and I believe she was failed by the school.

“Luckily, she worked hard and achieved good GCSE results, but you can see the difference between then and now.

“The whole community is behind saving the school. We just want the council to support the head and support the school, as it is a good school and the kids are happy.”

A spokesman for the school said there was no further comment in relation to the council’s decision and added: “The school will continue to work with the local authority and parents and carers.”

A spokeswoman for the council said: “Because South Shields School has been rated Inadequate, a Directive Academy Order has, by law, been placed on the school.

“Any future inspection outcome does not change that from a legal perspective and it does not follow that an improved grading would lead to removal of the Order.

“Ofsted set the timetable for their inspections and would not normally monitor or inspect a school with a Directive Academy Order. It should also be noted that inspections are done without any notice so it is not possible to ask Ofsted to inspect within a specific timescale.”

To sign the petition visit www.change.org/p/south-tyneside-council-save-south-shields-school-from-closure