Academy backtracks on library ban

Abraham Guest Academy

Abraham Guest Academy

Abraham Guest Academy has U-turned on a decision to ban its own pupils from using the in-house public library.

The Academy in Orrell was panned by school watchdog Ofsted last March for its decision to keep the Lamberhead Green Public Library locked to pupils despite concerns over “poor literacy”.

The move, which was initially branded a “waste of resources” by the inspector was reportedly in place because of previous bad behaviour of certain pupils from the school.

The report, published in April last year, read: “Poor literacy is a key barrier to learning for many pupils yet the vast public library on the school is kept locked, even on days when it is not open to the public.

“Pupils [must] always receive high-quality support and resources to help them read, write and spell accurately.”

However, in an apparent reversal, the school has dropped the policy to ban all students and the Post has learnt that the children are now allowed back in the library after school finishes at 2.45pm until 4pm.

The students are admitted to access the library through the school, signing in with staff at reception on the premise that they leave at 4pm.

Any pupils found to be behaving badly either during class or in the library are listed and temporarily banned from using the services.

The academy’s head teacher, Paul Bousfield, defended the school following the criticism which formed part of a judgement that it “requires improvement”.

Following the inspection he said: “All students are enrolled as public members of the Lamberhead Green Library when they join the academy in year seven and receive a library induction.

“Students access the library during English lessons when appropriate to the curriculum. The library is also accessed by all other subject areas to complete research and other tasks.

“This was not explored as part of the Ofsted visit and we are unsure why the inspector made this part of the report.”

Lamberhead Green Library opened on the site in 2010, when the school was 
still known as Abraham Guest Specialist Sport and Art College.

It is believed that the policy was first introduced two years later, around the same time the school was granted academy status in January 2012 and broke free of local authority control.

It is believed pupils can only enter the library during lesson time under the supervision of a teacher.

At the time of the report, Mr Bousfield said that the school was making improvements in order to achieve “good” status in the next inspection, which has not yet taken place.