School promises 'sharper focus' after Ofsted

May 30 2018

MANGOTSFIELD School has been told by the education watchdog Ofsted to up the pace of improvements.

Inspectors visited the 1,147-pupil secondary school in March and their report concluded that the school requires improvement in five key areas, including leadership and management, teaching quality, pupil behaviour and achievement.

Among their findings, the inspectors said school leaders had been slow to bring in improvements in the quality of teaching, particularly in science, and that work set did not always match the different abilities of pupils.

They found a large minority of parents were not satisfied, saying: “Nearly one in three parents would not recommend the school.”

Governors were found to have not done a good enough job in holding school leaders to account over pupils’ progress, while issues were also raised over how well disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs are taught and monitored.

Inspectors identified 11 areas where they believe the school’s leaders, teachers and pupils need to improve.

The school received the same overall rating from Ofsted in 2013 and 2015, before it became an academy as part of the Castle School Education Trust.

The watchdog said: “Although partnerships with other schools in the trust have promoted greater sharing of best practice, this work has not led to a rise in pupils’ achievement.”

The inspectors did praise pupils’ progress in humanities and languages, which they said was down to “high-quality teaching and consistent practice”, and pointed to improvements in English teaching.

The inspectors also highlighted better behaviour, with a fall in disruption to lessons and exclusions, thanks to the school’s ‘Ready to Learn’ rules. They said attendance had also improved, although too many disadvantaged youngsters were “persistently absent”.

They said: “Leaders take an honest, accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They know what needs to be done and are confronting underperformance.”

Responding to the report, Mangotsfield School head teacher David Spence said he was pleased Ofsted had noted the school’s strengths in humanities and languages and improvements in English, as well as improved behaviour.

He said: “There for us are no surprises in the report.

 “Inspectors have recognised that the school is improving but have asked that we accelerate the pace of change, especially to improve teaching.

“We know that the quality of what is happening in every classroom is our priority moving forward, to ensure progress for all, particularly feedback and that work is even more closely tailored to student needs.

“Inspectors said our students are well looked after and, having spoken to our students at length, described our school culture as ‘welcoming, tolerant and caring’.

“Much has been done since 2015 but we know we can do more.

“We need to have an even sharper focus on the classroom. The report is a really clear indication of where we need to focus our work to give all of our students the best possible education.”