St Benedict’s School ‘inadequate’ says Ofsted
Last updated at 11:16, Thursday, 10 May 2012
THE full extent of the inadequacies at St Benedict’s School in Whitehaven have finally been revealed – 10 weeks after the Ofsted inspection was carried out.
All of the five areas covered in the report – including quality of teaching, leadership and management and the achievement of pupils – have been deemed inadequate, the worst grade that a school can receive.
Ofsted has confirmed that St Benedict’s School has been placed in special measures.
A parents’ evening was due to be held last night (Wednesday) at which they could raise any questions and concerns.
The inspectors say immediate changes need to be made to ensure the school’s standards improve, which they will monitor closely.
The report said: “The inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.”
Father Matthew Carney, chair of governors, said the school is “determined to react swiftly to address any ideas for improvement identified in the report”.
He said: “St Benedict’s School is very disappointed with the outcome of its recent Ofsted inspection, and in particular, with the delay in the publication of the report.”
The report deemed the school inadequate in the following areas:
the overall effectiveness;
the achievement of pupils;
quality of teaching;
behaviour and safety of pupils;
leadership and management.
Inspectors said: “This is not a satisfactory school because weaknesses in teaching mean that pupils do not achieve as well as they should and, since the last inspection, school leaders have not tackled these shortcomings.”
The report noted: “Students’ achievement has been inadequate for the last three years because they have not made the progress expected of them from above average starting points. While GCSE results are average overall, students have consistently underachieved in mathematics. Progress in English is better but inconsistent.”
Inspectors said too much of the teaching is either inadequate or only satisfactory.
The report says: “Students are not challenged sufficiently and do not make enough progress to reach the levels of attainment of which they are capable. Currently, students are not making enough progress to make up for ground lost in the past.”
The report also stated: “Leaders and managers have not been effective in bringing about improvement and raising students’ achievement. The school does not monitor students’ rates of progress frequently enough, underachievement is not identified quickly enough, and timely support and challenge are not provided.”
It added: “The school has not improved since the previous inspection and has not demonstrated enough capacity to improve.
“The behaviour and safety of students are inadequate. Many parents, carers and students expressed concern about poor behaviour disrupting lessons. Where teaching was less than good, classroom behaviour deteriorated as a result of weak behaviour management and the pace of learning slowed. Inspectors observed orderly movement of students around the school and students were polite and behaved well when speaking with inspectors.”
The report said the sixth form is satisfactory. Inspectors say: “Teaching is satisfactory and students’ pro-gress is well-monitored, enabling effective intervention and guidance to take place where it is needed. Improved leadership systems in the sixth form are beginning to have a demonstrably positive impact on results.”
Inspectors said that the school has not dealt with homophobic bullying well enough.
The report said a number of improvements needs to be made. Inspectors say there needs to be an increase in the amount of good or better teaching so that attainment rises and progress accelerates for all groups of students, especially in English and mathematics. The report also advises development of leadership and management at all levels to ensure more rapid and sustainable school improvement.
It says the school must improve the behaviour and safety of students by improving the management of behaviour in lessons so learning is not interrupted; act as a matter of urgency to ensure that all students feel free from harassment and bullying and are confident that any concerns they have will be acted on quickly and effectively by the school; and ensure attendance continues to improve and does not fall below the national average.
Father Carney said: “Under the recently changed Ofsted procedures, the school believes that some of the judgements failed to draw out fully the strengths of the school and its national awards recognition. Evidence from both parents and students supported these strengths.
“The school, does, however, acknowledge the seriousness of the findings in the report and the governors and staff are firmly committed to making improvements.
“Despite this inspection report I am very positive about the school and its recent achievements. Pastoral support, in particular remains a strength, and our Study Support Programme has gained national recognition. I am confident that, with the help of parents, the efforts of those within the school community and the support of many friends elsewhere that St Benedict’s will emerge as a stronger and even better school.”
First published at 11:08, Thursday, 10 May 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
Sad to hear of this from an ex-pupil's point of view who has always had nothing but good to relate about my time there. How has it all went wrong?
Dont go tarnishing all the teachers with the same brush - they are some exceptional teachers who do not get the recognition they deserve - in fact they get more work put on them whilst the underperforming ones get away with it.
The school doesnt need much, to much protecting of disobedient kids and not enough support and to emphasis on targets..and employ more teachers!!! to many teachers with more on than they should...
A teacher can only do so much, the parents have a lot to answer for as well...
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