TORQUAY'S Westlands School has lodged an appeal after it was put into the 'special measures'.
Headteacher Colin Kirkman said school staff were 'in disbelief and angry' after an Ofsted inspection report, just published after an inspection in June, showed that the school has gone from 'good' to 'inadequate' since its last full report in June, 2010.
The Ofsted findings said the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management are inadequate, while the behaviour and safety of pupils requires improvement.
But Dr Kirkman claimed: "It's not a fair reflection of Westlands.
"I've had heartening phone calls from parents who said they were shocked and they couldn't believe it."
He said the school has submitted a 10-page appeal and expects to hear the result in a number of weeks.
Dr Kirkman said: "We believe the processes they used to collect evidence and the judgements they made on that evidence were not sound.
"They focused on a narrow range of historic data — exam data from summer 2009 to summer 2012 — and put little emphasis on the way the school is now.
"They said 70 per cent of lessons they observed were good or outstanding. How does that stack up with the judgements they made about teaching?
"The report rightly identified areas that required improvement but gave little credit for the good things they saw during the inspection and how the school has improved over the last three years."
He said Westlands was the first secondary school in Torbay to be inspected under the tough new Ofsted inspection framework.
He thought a fair assessment of the school would have been 'requires improvement'.
"The staff believe in this school and we're working really hard to address the concerns raised by Ofsted," he said.
"While we wait for the outcome of the appeal, we ask parents and the community to judge us on what they know of the school and not on the findings of the inspection team who were in the school for a total of 15 hours."
Ofsted reported students' attainment had not improved sufficiently over the last three years and had fallen in many respects when compared to national averages.
The report said: "Too many students do not make enough progress in a range of subjects, including English, mathematics and core science.
"Gaps in achievement between different groups of students are too wide. Boys do less well than girls. Students who are known to be eligible for free school meals do not make enough progress.
"The sixth form requires improvement because students do not make good progress in their final year.
"Leaders and managers are not demonstrating that they can substantially improve the school's performance.
"The quality of teaching is inadequate overall, despite the support and training provided for teachers. Inspectors observed some strong teaching, but too much is not good enough."
The report noted some strengths. it said: "The students have remained safe and the school is a friendly place to be. The school's provision for developing students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural values is good."
Dr Kirkman said the school has already started taking action to improve.
He said: "Torbay Council has worked with Westlands School to put in place a support package and through this we have developed a positive partnership with Ivybridge Community College, which is an 'outstanding' school.
"They have visited us on several occasions to review the school, challenge practice and support us in moving forward.
"Our 2013 summer exam results answered some of the key issues raised in the report — improvements in maths and core science and excellent results at A2."
If Westlands remains in 'special measures', it will receive visits every term from Government inspectors to ensure the school is making good progress.
Cllr Ken Pritchard, Torbay Council's executive lead for children, schools and families, said: "The Ofsted inspection is disappointing and we are now working closely with the school on a comprehensive action plan to address the issues identified in the report.
"We are offering Westlands all the support we can to help it meet the challenges and make the necessary improvements as quickly as possible to enable the school to continue to move forward."