School branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors

HEMSWORTH Arts and Community College was branded ‘inadequate’ by an education watchdog after a recent inspection to the secondary school.

Ofsted inspectors gave the lowest possible score for the achievement of pupils and its overall effectiveness as a school following the visit in March.

They found that the number of students gaining five A* to C grades at GCSEs, including English and maths, was below the national average - and that the gap was widening.

The reported said: “Most parents and carers believe that students are making good progress. However, students’ progress over time is significantly below expectations and has declined over the last three years.

“The progress over time for the majority of groups is significantly below that of similar groups nationally.”

They found girls and higher ability students specifically underachieved.

Teaching was satisfactory overall but was variable, and behaviour was also classed as satisfactory.

To improve, inspectors said the college needed to eliminate the remaining inadequate teaching and to ensure teachers’ expectations of what students should achieve was consistently high.

The sixth form was praised for having improved since the last inspection in 2009. They found teaching to be good, and sometimes outstanding.

In a statement from Pamela Massett, principal, and David Waterson, from the college’s chair of governors, they said: “The college has been inspected under the new framework implemented in January 2012. This framework no longer takes any account of contextual circumstances that were applied to previous inspections.

“The retrospective application of new measurements of achievement to the results from 2009 to 2011 has resulted in the college being given a notice to improve under the achievement section of the framework.

“There is no complacency at the college and staff are working very hard, and will continue to do so, to ensure that students achieve their potential in all aspects of their learning.

“A detailed action plan has been put into place which is addressing the areas for improvement.”

They said the report highlighted the positive aspects of the school including students currently at college were doing well in terms of progress, and that post-16 provision was now a strength of the college with all aspects being good.

They added: “The current political agenda has resulted in many schools and colleges enduring an endless volley of criticism from the Government.

“This will not deter the college staff and Governors, with the support of parents and community partners, from doing their very best to ensure that young people in Hemsworth are able to achieve their full potential.”