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Gov pledges "support" as damning Beaulieu report officially released

Gov pledges

Monday 30 January 2023

Gov pledges "support" as damning Beaulieu report officially released

Monday 30 January 2023

The government has said it will "support" Beaulieu's leaders in delivering a turnaround plan after the school received a highly critical inspection report.

The Independent Jersey Schools Review Framework report, which followed high-level departures at the school, shed light on leadership failings and "inconsistencies in the quality of teaching" at Beaulieu,

The review was conducted in November 2022 by a team of five people, including an experienced off-island education consultant, and four education advisers from the Education Department.

They visited 54 lessons and mentor sessions, and spoke with groups of pupils, teachers, and representatives of the board of trustees. The team also sampled pupils’ and sixth formers’ work.

Their findings were shared with parents at a meeting last week, and is due to be published in full on the government's website today here.

The report also concluded that some staff had been "over-generous" in their self-assessment and that recent changes in senior leadership and poor communication had led to "a lack of accountability and a dip in educational standards".

A survey found staff to be "loyal" to the school, but some staff members "expressed anxiety about leadership, communication, their workload and falling morale".

Speaking for the first time since the highly critical report was unveiled, Education Minister Deputy Inna Gardiner thanked Beaulieu for volunteering to be the first non-provided, grant funded school to be reviewed under the Jersey Schools Review Framework.

“JSRF reviews consider the whole school: pupils’ behaviour and development, the environment, the school leadership, standards of teaching, learning and assessment. Each review is a starting point for further collaboration between the department and the school to ensure continuous improvement," she said.

“The nature of that collaboration will depend on the exact relationship between the Government of Jersey and individual schools. In the case of non-provided, grant funded schools, we will continue to support the directors and leadership in delivering on their action plan, and review their progress during the spring.”

Paul Robinson, Acting Headteacher, added: “I’d like to thank the reviewers for their work and findings, as well as all the students and staff who supported the review. I welcome the reviewers’ recognition of the warm and caring environment, and the high expectations we have of our students.

“I’d also like to thank the reviewers for their carefully considered recommendations for improvement. Staff across all levels are committed to building on these recommendations, to ensure a continuous improvement in the provision at Beaulieu.”

Last week's meeting was arranged after numerous Beaulieu parents voiced concerns in December about the sudden departure of Head of School Andrea Firby - whose exit led to a petition being signed by more than 1,000 people - and a subsequent controversial restructuring of the school’s senior management.


Pictured: Mrs Firby had been "the face of Beaulieu" for over a decade.

Addressing parents at the meeting, Beaulieu's Chair of Trustees, Bernadette Cooper acknowledged that "the situation over Christmas was not handled well and communication was unclear". 

"We are sorry for the justifiable distress and uncertainty felt by parents, students and staff," she said. "Trustees are committed to ensure that, moving forward, senior leaders are held sufficiently accountable and that the Trustees remain actively involved in the leadership of the School."

It was also confirmed at the meeting that former Headteacher and CEO, Chris Beirne – who recently stepped down into the "less visible" role of Executive Director amidst criticism – is currently on sick leave, but is no longer a member of the Executive Leadership Team or engaged in any Directors’ decisions. 

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