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Stowupland High School rated 'requires improvement' in inspection

A high school has been rated ‘requires improvement’ by an education watchdog after it transitioned to a school for 11 to 18 year-olds.

Stowupland High School, which is part of The John Milton Academy Trust, was inspected between March 12 to 13 and was previously rated ‘good’ in January 2015.

Key findings in the report said that the school, in Church Road, has ‘experienced turbulence during its recent change to a school for 11 to 18-year-olds, and during its conversion to an academy’.

Stowupland High School.
Stowupland High School.

Changes in leadership and staffing have led to ‘some instability’ and during this time pupils ‘have not made good progress’.

Overall progress ‘improved in 2018’ but weaknesses in some subjects ‘have not been fully resolved’.

The report also stated that the high school needed to ‘improve pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare by taking steps to ensure that all pupils and parents are fully confident that staff will resolve incidents of bullying’.

However, the report did note some strengths, saying that Wendy Baster, the recently appointed headteacher, is leading improvements and there was ‘good teaching’ in subjects such as humanities, English and maths and that ‘suitable plans are in place to raise achievement’.

All pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are making ‘improved progress’.

The local governing body ‘knows the school well and increasingly provides challenge for the school leaders’.

The report also said that ‘the arrangements for safeguarding are effective’ and ‘records show that effective action is taken in a timely way to protect pupils from harm when concerns are raised by staff’ and that ‘procedures are well known and applied consistently by all staff’.

In a statement published on the school’s website, Karen Hudson, chair of governors and Alan Ridealgh, chair of the John Milton Academy Trust, said: “We understand and share the disappointment of all members of the school community that Stowupland has not been able to retain its ‘good’ rating from 2015.

“However, we are pleased that the Ofsted report recognises many positives: changes to the curriculum in 2016/17, effective safeguarding, strong teaching in key areas, an established enrichment programme on Wednesday afternoon, the development of a dedicated post-16 centre and, very importantly, courteous and well-mannered students.

“Leadership capacity at all levels is strong and we will continue to ensure that the areas for development receive the utmost attention. We have written to the parents and carers of students at the school and will be keeping them informed of progress through bulletins and newsletters.”

To read the full report go to: files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50073624

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