Marlwood School leaders confident of rapid improvements after inadequate rating

July 28 2017

LEADERS at Marlwood School have said they are confident it will “improve rapidly” in the coming months after being placed in special measures.

LEADERS at Marlwood School have said they are confident it will “improve rapidly” in the coming months after being placed in special measures.

Education watchdog Ofsted judged the school in Alveston to be inadequate after a recent inspection and referred to “a culture of of complacency and low expectations”.

It said: “This school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.

“The persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.”

Marlwood has been part of the Castle School Education Trust (CSET) since November 2014 and its chief executive William Roberts, jointly with Marlwood headteacher James Pope, told parents in a letter: “It will clearly be extremely disappointing for the whole school community that Ofsted has judged Marlwood to be inadequate and to require special measures.

“The experience of other schools has shown that a special measures judgement can help to accelerate progress.

“Therefore, whilst this will be a difficult time for Marlwood School, we are confident that the school will improve rapidly over the coming months.”

The Ofsted team, led by inspector David New, said the school’s decline had been characterised by low expectations at all levels.

Pupils, especially the most able, did not make expected progress across a range of subjects and disadvantaged students made much less progress than others nationally.

Students’ attendance was below average, governance was ineffective and teaching, learning and assessment were inadequate, with too many parents dissatisfied with the school’s work .

However, pupils made better progress in maths and attained in line with the national average.

Ofsted also said: “The chief executive of the trust has acted to support improvements in the curriculum, assessment and behaviour management since his appointment in September 2016.”

Mr Roberts and Mr Pope said the school had undertaken substantial restructuring in recent years in order to save £2.3 million after a 40 per cent funding cut. 

More than 50 staff had left during that period and fundamental changes had been made to the school’s curriculum, culture and ethos.

Their letter said: “Some of you will not recognise what is described in the inspection report. Many students’ daily experiences are positive and many parents/carers have given positive feedback about the school and the impact of recent improvements.”

Mr Pope said in an end-of term letter: “I would like to thank parents and the wider community members for the kind words of support and encouragement following the publication of the report.”