Pleckgate headteacher pledges to continue ‘improvement journey’ after Ofsted judgement

Published Wednesday 5 February 2014 at 17:18

Pleckgate Maths and Computing College has been placed into special measures by Ofsted following a recent inspection.

Ofsted recognised that progress has been made by the school over the last year to improve achievement in both English and science and also praised:

  • excellent achievement in mathematics and science
  • above average attendance
  • excellent pastoral care
  • positive relationships between teachers and students.

However, Ofsted’s report, which is published today, raised concerns about the governance of the school and variable teaching in some areas.

Inspectors have set out a series of improvements for the school, including improving leadership and governance by putting ‘fit for purpose’ governing arrangements in place, improving teaching so that most is good or outstanding and improving students’ sometimes passive behaviour in lessons. They emphasised that the headteacher has a good understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses,  has put in place the improvements needed and that senior leaders support her approach.

Headteacher Cherry Ridgway said: “The overall inadequate judgement is extremely disappointing, but I am pleased that Ofsted recognises the progress we have already made and wants us to continue with our journey of improvement.  Our priority is always to do the best for the pupils of Pleckgate and, having looked closely at all areas identified for improvement, we have updated our plans to make sure we are ready to work with even greater focus.

“I am grateful that we have the full support and confidence of the local authority, which continues to work closely with us and is reviewing the governance of the school to ensure we have everything in place to bring about the improvements needed.

“Longer term, our expectation is that the school will probably be required to convert to an academy. We have not had any discussions with the Department for Education about academy status at this stage, but hope that any future proposal will be carried out in full consultation with staff, parents and pupils.”

Cllr Dave Harling, the Council’s Executive Member for Schools and Education, said: “We have been aware of the concerns raised by Ofsted for some time and have been actively working with Pleckgate’s governing body to help try to resolve some of their difficulties, while ensuring that the attainment and wellbeing of pupils remained their top priority.

“We welcome the fact that Ofsted has recognised the progress already being made, including improving science and English attainment, but of course we also acknowledge that there is still a long way to go.

“We have taken the immediate step of putting four additional governors on to the governing body and will make a formal request to the Department for Education to establish an interim executive board. This is something we had already planned before the recent Ofsted inspection and, subject to it being granted, we feel this will be the best possible option for the school and will support it to deliver the improvements identified by Ofsted.”

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