School taking effective action to get out of special measures

February 26 2018

EFFECTIVE action is being taken at Marlwood School to remove it from special measures, an Ofsted inspector has said.

EFFECTIVE action is being taken at Marlwood School to remove it from special measures, an Ofsted inspector has said.

The Alveston school was placed in special measures after an inspection last May and recently underwent its first monitoring examination after that assessment.

Inspector Andrew Lovett said: “Having considered all the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.”

He said improvement plans were “fit for purpose” but he “strongly” recommended that the school did not seek to appoint newly qualified teachers.

Mr Lovett also highlighted continuing poor attendance by some pupils and said it had not been addressed with “sufficient vigour” by school leaders.

The 2017 Ofsted inspection said Marlwood had to improve leadership and management at all levels, improve teaching and raise pupils’ achievement, and improve the personal development, behaviour and welfare of students.

Mr Lovett said the senior leadership team had changed substantially since then and there had also  been a significant turnover of staff, including middle leaders.

He said: “This turbulence has meant that some classes are currently being taught by temporary staff.

“The school has experienced a significant fall in the number of pupils on roll over the last few years. Consequently, it is revising its staffing structure.”

He said headteacher James Pope recognised the need to address issues of underperformance of staff immediately and he was tackling them “robustly”.

He had balanced increased expectation with appropriate support and as a result, staff were united and motivated in their desire to improve the school’s outcomes for its pupils.

There was also a comprehensive programme of training in place for teachers.

Mr Lovett said at the time of the inspection, a significant proportion of parents were critical of the school but they were now significantly more positive about all aspects of its work.

He said: “The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is not of a consistently good standard. This prevents pupils from making all the progress they are capable of.

“However, there are signs of improvement. The level of expectation of what pupils can achieve is now higher in a good proportion of classes. Where this is the case, pupils are responding well.”

Regarding GCSE results, he said pupils made less progress than those in other schools in the 2017 exams but students currently at the school were starting to show better progress.