Geraldine Douglas’ grandson attends Brooksbank School in Elland where racism, sexual harassment, homophobia and bullying are rampant, according to Ofsted
A grandmother rages over the state of her grandson’s school where students are ‘sexually harassing’ and racism is the norm.
Geraldine Douglas has called on leaders at Brooksbank School in West Yorkshire to take responsibility after a damning Ofsted report deemed it ‘unsafe’ for students.
Inspectors called the secondary school ‘inadequate’ after a visit in February, reports Yorkshire Live.
Racism, sexual harassment, homophobia, bullying and violence are all said to be rampant at school and included in a long list of failures.
But Geraldine said she was “not surprised” by the results, as issues were reported by parents on a Facebook group.
Her daughter, who did not wish to be named, said the report made her feel like she “made the wrong choice” in sending her son to school.
She added: “While this is a damning report, I’m really not surprised given the stories I’ve heard from both parents and my son himself.
“My daughter is also due to start there in September but, having reviewed the ‘culture of sexual harassment’ comments, I am genuinely concerned for her well-being.”
Ofsted found sexual harassment to be “afflicting and common” at Elland School and said many pupils were regularly subject to inappropriate comments.
“There were a number of instances of inappropriate touching and assaulting,” the report continues.
“Some students also experience shocking threats of sexual violence. Leaders are not doing enough to protect students from these experiences or reduce risk to students.”
Inspectors also found that the students were “discriminated against because of their race and religion”, saying the children “regularly heard racist language”.
Ofsted added that homophobia is also widespread throughout the school.
“Students are also targeted because of their sexual orientation. Students hear discriminatory language, such as homophobic language, every day,” he continued.
Bullying and violence during social times were also reported as major issues.
In response, the school says it has worked “rapidly” to implement “sustainable” changes since Ofsted’s visit in February.
“I wasn’t surprised. I would have said it was a safe place a few years ago,” Geraldine said.
“They need to take responsibility. They need to have an open discussion where people can talk and they can show people the way forward. They need to raise their hands.”
Her daughter added: “My closest friend has a son in grade 8 and her views were the same as mine, shocked but not surprised. I regret sending my kids there.
“I fear I have made the wrong choice unless the school fixes it seriously and quickly. Many parents are fed up with the school and the Ofsted report was just a reflection of their concerns.”
Brooksbank School shared a statement explaining that the Education Exchange was contacted for assistance on February 24.
He continued: “The Education Exchange is a group of like-minded trusts and friends dedicated to improving education in the North of England.
“The work is free and based on professional generosity and friendship. At 8 a.m. on February 28, a team of six people arrived to work at the school. They included a CEO, two executive directors, a director of Safeguarding and Inclusion and an Associate Executive Director All are experts in education.
“On Wednesday they were joined by colleagues from across the region and there were 26 specialists in the school from six academies. This huge capacity enabled the team to work quickly to train staff and bring about rapid transformation. New safeguarding processes, supervision, behavior policies, the structure of school days and specialist remedial intervention classes were all put in place, which meant the children were safe.
“A series of meetings were held with parents to explain the changes which were welcomed with support. Dave Hewitt is an experienced Executive Director who runs one of the most successful schools in Kirklees. He has been Executive Director and has run Brooksbank since on February 28. We are confident that the changes are lasting and embedded and that the school is now thriving.”