John Port School, in Etwall, could be welcoming an extra 500 pupils through its doors as the county council makes plans to tackle the increasing number of homes in the area.

Derbyshire's largest secondary school could see the expansion because of the government's expectations of a big increase in the number of children applying for places in schools across the county.

Cabinet member for young people at Derbyshire County Council Councillor Alex Dale has explained that the school is looking into a number of opportunities to make sure they are able to accommodate all, including the possibility of opening another school.

Big challenge ahead to get John Port back up to standard after Ofsted inspection

Mr Dale told the Burton Mail's sister title, the Derby Telegraph: "We want families in South Derbyshire to know that we're planning ahead to make sure there will be enough places available at local schools when their children reach year seven.

"With plans for new large housing developments on the outskirts of Derby well advanced, we know that many more school places will be needed and it is our duty to ensure they are available.

"We are already looking at the options. While there are potential new secondary school sites on Infinity Garden Village and also possibly at Thulston Fields, we’re also looking at the possible expansion of John Port School to accommodate up to an additional 500 pupils.

"There is funding available through agreements with housing developers to provide those additional school places but building a new school or expanding an existing one will take time, so we’re working with John Port to ensure that children living in the local catchment area are able to secure a place when they move up from primary school."

The county council has said that it is well aware of the school’s recent troubles. The school was placed in special measures by school inspection officers from Ofsted after exam results rated it among the worst in England.

Inspectors claimed that every area they examined was inadequate when the results were revealed in July 2017.

Mr Dale said: "We fully appreciate that the outcome of the report is clearly a concern to parents of children already attending John Port and those who are due to go there in the near future.

"It has also raised questions about its impact on expanding the school, as well as what effect expansion would have on children’s education in what is an already every large school.

"However, the Spencer Academies Trust, which is the school’s chosen sponsor, has been quick to address the issues raised in the report and has appointed a new head teacher to lead the school from September.

"We are also aware that there are other highly successful schools elsewhere in the country with 2,500 pupils or more which have proved that schools of that size are viable.

"The task of creating enough of secondary places at good quality schools in South Derbyshire is a priority for us and we are confident it will be achieved in good time and with no adverse impact on the quality of education."

What did the 'inadequate' Ofsted report of John Port School say?

Ofsted inspectors rated John Port School as inadequate following an inspection on both Tuesday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 7.

The report concluded that "pupils are ill-prepared for life in modern Britain".

The inspectors also said that the 1,964-pupil school’s exam results in 2016 were "among the worst in England" and parents had expressed their dissatisfaction with leadership, quality of teaching and behaviour and safety of pupils in online survey Parent View.

The sixth form at the school did not escape criticism and the inspectors found that "too many students in the sixth form fail to complete the courses they have started" and "too few achieve the high grades".

Also coming in for criticism was the previous governing body, which presided over the school until April 2016, for not "effectively" holding leaders to account and having "fractured relationships with school leaders".

The inspectors said the board had worked hard to establish clear policies and systems to monitor the school effectively and has also acted quickly to address safeguarding concerns brought to its attention.

Safeguarding issues included disorganised and chaotic documentation, an out-of-date safeguarding policy on the website and not all standard vetting procedures having been undertaken meaning "pupils have unnecessarily been put at risk".

Two areas were singled out for praise – the quality of teaching in English, which the inspectors said had rapidly improved, and they also decided that newly qualified teachers are "supported well".

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