Home   Tonbridge   News   Article

Bullying still a problem at Weald of Kent Grammar School says Ofsted, 11 months after student Taliyah Dahdi took her own life

Bullying is still a problem at a grammar school 11 months after a student took her own life.

Ofsted has just inspected Weald of Kent in Tonbridge for the first time since it became an academy in February 2011 and has labelled it "Requires Improvement."

Taliyah Dahdi took her own life
Taliyah Dahdi took her own life

The report comes after an inquest heard 16-year-old Taliyah Dahdi, from Hildenborough, took her own life last August after suffering social isolation and bullying at the school.

Ofsted said while pupils were encouraged to work hard and aim for personal success, a "significant number" were concerned about bullying and the inspectors said: "Many pupils do not feel able to talk to adults in school about their worries."

But the inspectors found when students did pluck up the courage to speak to staff they did receive effective support.

Pupils learned well at the school and showed enthusiasm in class.

But pupils sometimes felt confused about teachers’ expectations of them, particularly at social times and between lessons.

The school leaders’ approach to tackling bullying "was not sufficiently strategic or urgent "

The inspectors also found teachers did not always check their pupils understood what has been taught before moving on, resulting in some pupils developing gaps in their learning.

The range of extra-curricular activities available at the school did not reflect the breadth of pupils’ interests, although school leaders were aware of this and were trying to introduce more opportunities.

The girls' school in Tudeley Lane has 1,923 students on the school roll, with 401 in the mixed sixth form.

School head teacher Elizabeth Bone
School head teacher Elizabeth Bone

Head teacher Elizabeth Bone said: "While there are certainly positive aspects of the report to be proud of, we are disappointed with the overall outcome of the inspection.

"We are committed to upholding the best possible behaviour standards and reporting procedures, and have been continuing to work hard with our students, teachers and staff and parents and carers to introduce a number of initiatives to support this.

“The health, wellbeing and happiness of our students is our top priority.

"With a legacy of high-quality teaching and learning and doing the very best for our students and staff, we are confident that the school will deliver meaningful and tangible impact across all areas identified in the report.

"We would like to thank staff, students, and parents for their support so far and will actively collaborate with our whole school community to continue driving a positive trajectory in a supportive and inspiring environment.”

The Weald of Kent has a satellite site in Sevenoaks
The Weald of Kent has a satellite site in Sevenoaks

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time or click here to visit the website.

The school was visited by five inspectors over two days in April. Their report was published on Friday.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More