Ofsted praise Doncaster school after five teenagers die in car smash

Minister of State for Schools, the Right Honourable David Laws,who  visited Danum Academy to meet students and thank the many staff who had supported the young people through the crash that killed five pupils

Minister of State for Schools, the Right Honourable David Laws,who visited Danum Academy to meet students and thank the many staff who had supported the young people through the crash that killed five pupils

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Staff and classmates of five teenagers killed in a car crash have been praised by Ofsted for the ‘phenomenal’ way they dealt with the tragedy.

Inspectors visited Danum Academy for the third monitoring visit since the school was put into special measures.

The report said: “The leadership of the senior team, and the head teacher in particular, after the accident was phenomenal.

“Students were supported extremely effectively, and provided with a safe and secure environment in which to grieve.”

Four of the teens killed in the crash in November – 16-year-olds Blake Cairns, Jordanna Goodwin and Megan Storey, and 18-year-old Arpad Kore – were sixth-form students at the academy in Doncaster.

The fifth victim, Bartosz Bortniczak, 18, was a former pupil of the school.

Minister of State for Schools, the Right Honourable David Laws, who visited said: “I was struck by the courage and character shown by the students and also by the great dedication and commitment of all the school’s staff.”

Although the report praised the handling of the tragedy inspectors said the school was not making enough progress towards the removal of special measures.

Headteacher Rebecca Staples said: “In terms of the progress I don’t think the report came as a surprise the tragedy of losing five children ripped the heart out of the school we had to focus on looking after the children a lot of whom were not in an emotional state to learn. Unfortunately for us Ofsted handbook doesn’t allow for enormous tragedies like this.”