UTTOXETER’S only high school has been told it ‘requires improvement’ after Ofsted inspectors found GCSE English results had fallen significantly and not all of the teachers marked pupils work well.
Thomas Alleyne’s High School, in Dove Bank, was visited by inspectors on February 27 and 28 who found although the school had many strengths, work still needed to be done before it could be awarded the ‘good’ rating it received on its previous visit.
However, acting head teacher Carl Gliddon said the school was already addressing these problems ‘by ensuring the excellent practice which is evident in some areas of the school becomes the norm in all areas’.
The report was complimentary of the school’s sixth form stating the majority of pupils go on to employment or higher education.
The school was found to ‘require improvement’ for achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.
During the visit to the school, inspectors found that pupils attaining five A* to C grades at GCSE varied too much and in 2013 English results feel significantly, some pupils given extra support through pupil premium funding did not attend enough to make good progress and not all teachers marked pupils written work well enough.
It also found teachers did not display consistently high expectations for what pupils in years nine, 10 and 11 were capable of achieving, senior leaders were not having sufficient impact on improving teaching and achievement and senior leaders and subject leaders did not monitor information on pupils’ attainment and progress in detail.
The report states: “At the time of the inspection, the school was in a transition period between one head teacher who left the school in December 2013 and another due to take up her post in April 2014.”
However, inspectors did highlight the strengths they found during the visit including ‘very good relationships characterise the school’ with pupils showing respect for their teachers, the sixth form is good, achievement is good in maths and for higher ability pupils and is improving for disabled pupils as well as those with special needs and the curriculum for all year groups is good.
The inspector also found pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is promoted well and good governance is providing the stability and continuity ‘the school needs’.
Mr Gliddon said: “Work is being undertaken to improve the consistency of marking and feedback to support pupils at risk of under-achieving, to make more effective use of pupil performance data and to strengthen the leadership and management of the school.
“Attendance of pupil premium pupils has improved significantly this academic year.
“This Ofsted report reflects the school at a certain point in our improvement journey. Though Ofsted raised concerns and said the school requires improvement, they were confident that we would be able to tackle the issues quickly and build on the many strengths of the school.
“This work will be the key priority of the incoming head teacher Mrs Rudge. Staff and governors are committed to ensuring we provide the best possible education for all the pupils in our school community.”
New head teacher Julie Rudge added: “Mr Gliddon and the chair of governors have kept me fully informed of the inspection process, its outcomes and their work subsequent to the visit. I look forward to working with them once I take up my post after Easter.”