The Ofsted report says the school is inadequate overall, days after it was announced the principal and chair of govenors had both resigned.

Bideford College has been placed into special measures, according to the latest Ofsted report.

On Tuesday the college announced that its principal, Veronia Matthews, and chair of govenors, Doug Bushby, had both resigned.

Inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, spent two days at Bideford last month and their report has just been published.

It concludes that the overall effectiveness of the college is inadequate and it requires special measures.

In the last Ofsted inspection in 2013, the school was told it needed improvement.

On Tuesday it was announced Andy Kilpatrick has taken over as interim principal while David Humphries is the new chair of governors.

In a joint statement, Mr Kilpatrick and Mr Humphries said: “There is much that is positive about Bideford College and much that is working well but we accept that the Ofsted judgement is broadly correct and there is an urgent need to improve what we are doing to ensure that all students make good progress and achieve to the best of their ability.

“We have already commenced a programme of actions which will bring about rapid improvement in these critical areas.”

Inadequate achievement

The report published today (Thursday) states the school has gone from ‘requiring improvement’ in 2013 to ‘inadequate’.

All aspects of the report were marked as inadequate, apart from the ‘behaviour and safety of pupils’ which ‘requires improvement’.

In summary, it said: “Leaders have failed to tackle the key issues identified at the previous inspection. Improvements that have been made are too slow and fragile.”

It slams the college for inadequate achievement, disadvantaged students making poor progress compared to their peers, and teachers’ expectations of pupils’ achievements being too low.

It states the students’ literacy skills are not developed well, they lack enthusiasm and too many students drop out of the school’s sixth form.

It also said the govenors have little understanding of the reasons why students underachieve.

But the report did say that disabled students received effective extra support, there was a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and the students were kept safe and secure.

The report states the school needs to improve the quality of teaching, raise achievement and improve the quality of leadership and management.

‘Raising our game’

New head Mr Kilpatrick has transformed three failing secondary schools over the past 20 years, the most recent a community college in Tottenham, North London.

In 2009, Mr Kilpatrick was awarded the OBE for services to education.

He added: “We all have to raise our game.

“The children we have starting at Bideford College each year have attainment which is broadly in line with the national average.

“Our aim now at the college is to see our Year 11 students perform at or above the national average in their GCSEs this summer.

“That would require an increase of eight percentage points on last summer.

“But I am convinced that the staff at the college have the capacity to bring about this improvement.

“Our team of teachers will focus on ensuring that lessons are aspirational and that students’ progress is rigorously and accurately assessed.

“We will be devising additional support strategies to accelerate the progress of students who are not meeting their targets.

“I firmly believe that the Bideford community will be behind us in our drive to improve standards.”

The full Ofsted report can be viewed on the Bideford College website here.