School ordered to improve standards

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The Independent Online
AN AWARD-winning comprehensive school in central London, once lauded by Conservative politicans, was yesterday found to be failing to provide a satisfactory standard of education and ordered to submit an action plan for improvement to the Secretary of State for Education, John Patten, writes Wendy Berliner.

Four years ago, Lilian Baylis School, near Waterloo, won the pounds 100,000 Jerwood award for extra-curricular activity. John MacGregor, when Secretary of State for Education, visited it and described it as an example of what the best in state education could offer.

But an OFSTED report released by the school yesterday found that standards of achievement in more than half of the lessons in the pre-GCSE years were unsatisfactory or poor; that many lessons were disrupted by bad behaviour; and that the school suffered badly from truancy.

Yesterday, a Lambeth council spokeswoman said: 'We are trying to be honest about this. We don't claim this school is a success . . . but we are optimistic.'

The headteacher, Greta Akpeneye, commended in the report for her strong leadership, said: 'I think it's a fair report. We are concentrating on teaching and learning and trying to bring up standards in the classroom.'