Fraud probe Glendene Arts Academy criticised by Ofsted inspectors

Glendene Academy Glendene became an academy in September 2012

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A County Durham school at the centre of a fraud inquiry has been placed in special measures after inspectors highlighted a catalogue of failings.

Three people are currently on bail after being arrested by detectives investigating the alleged fraud at Glendene Arts Academy in Easington.

The arrests followed a Department for Education report, which highlighted alleged irregularities at the school.

Ofsted inspectors said teaching and governance were "inadequate".

Glendene, which became an academy in September 2012, caters for pupils aged from two to 19, who have varying degrees of special needs.

Inspectors, who visited the school on two days in June, described the standard of teaching as "weak", resulting in pupils making "inadequate progress."

Profound difficulties

Their report added: "There are serious and widespread weaknesses in the effectiveness of leaders and managers, including the governing body.

"Teachers' planning is weak. They do not have an accurate picture of pupils' skills, knowledge and understanding upon which to set challenging work.

"This weakness is most apparent for pupils who have the most profound learning difficulties, who often have to wait lengthy periods for a member of staff to work with them."

The school said it was working with the Department for Education and Durham County Council to achieve improvements, and with Durham Police on the "complex" fraud investigation.

A spokesman for Durham Police said: "All those arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud remain on bail until mid-October."

Earlier this year the academy was ordered to repay more than £162,000 of taxpayers' cash paid to a private firm.

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