A UNION chief has claimed new Ofsted guidance shows a school being forced into academy status by the Government is unjustified.

As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph, Darwen Vale High School has been targeted by the Government after it received an ‘inadequate’ rating during an Ofsted inspection last year.

But Claire Ward, negotiating secretary for the local branch of the NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers), said the school was improving and, according to guidelines issued by the inspectorate, the pressure on Darwen Vale is unecessary.

The Ofsted guidance reads: “A school can be good if teaching, leadership and management, and behaviour and safety are good, and if there is sufficient evidence that progress and/or achievement of current pupils are good also. “This is often the case when a school is improving from requires improvement, serious weaknesses, or special measures.”

Ms Ward said: “If this Ofsted guidance had been in place when Darwen Vale was inspected, then the school would not be in the position it is now.

“It begs the question why the school is still under pressure to become an academy when it has, and still is, improved.”