School is still failing to make the grade - despite being told it must improve

A school is still failing to make the grade despite being told to improve.
Headteacher Elizabeth Hayes outside Boldon School.Headteacher Elizabeth Hayes outside Boldon School.
Headteacher Elizabeth Hayes outside Boldon School.

Following a recent monitoring visit to Boldon Academy, Ofsted inspectors said effective action is not being taken to tackle the problems.

In May 2017 the Boldon Colliery school underwent a full inspection and was rated as requiring improvements.

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Now, following a monitoring visit to the school in March, the education body says senior leaders and governors are not taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvements.

Elizabeth Hayes, headteacher of Boldon School, said: “We are disappointed by the latest monitoring report. However, there are positives in the report and actions have already been taken to address the concerns.

“It is important to highlight that last year our Progress 8 results – which measure the progress all students make – were the second best in the borough.

“We are not complacent, we accept there is always work to do but these strong results show that our efforts are already resulting in better outcomes for our students.”

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Following the most recent visit, Ofsted said the school needs to take further action to; commission an external review of the use of additional funding to support disadvantaged pupils, further accelerate pupils’ progress, ensure that the school’s plans for improvement are fit for purpose and improve the effectiveness of governors to hold leaders to account.

Ofsted said: “Although there is evidence that pupils’ outcomes have improved since the inspection in May 2017, there is variation between subjects, and disadvantaged pupils still do significantly less well than other pupils nationally.

“Leaders’ plans and actions are not rigorous enough to bring about accelerated improvement in pupils’ outcomes.

“Governors have little working knowledge of the school’s improvement plans and acknowledge that they have no role in their development.”

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However, inspectors said leaders have implemented a new system for checking the progress of pupils, which is having some positive effect and that governors are committed to improving the school.

They added: “The quality of teaching is improving, particularly in science, humanities and modern foreign languages. Although an inconsistent picture across subjects remains.

“Leaders have implemented a number of strategies to raise teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve.

“The implementation of a new behaviour and rewards policy has led to a reduction in the rate of fixed-term exclusion and behaviour incidents. Records of bullying show that the number of incidents is falling, including those relating to homophobic and racist bullying.”