Head defends ‘inadequate secondary’ rate of progress

10:00pm Friday 27th December 2013

By Sophie Scott

A HEADTEACHER has said he is disappointed after his school was told it was not making enough progress towards removal of its inadequate rating.

Fitzharry’s School, in Northcourt Road, Abingdon, was put in the new Ofsted category of serious weaknesses after pupils’ achievement was deemed inadequate last December.

Now, after its second monitoring visit, Ofsted has released a new report saying achievement is not rising fast enough.

Headteacher Jonathan Dennett said the school was doing a lot of things to improve and this year’s exam results will prove that.

He said: “The judgement appears to be based on the last set of exam results and we know that, through the data we have at the school, it is much improved.

“I am disappointed but positive.”

The report said: “Senior leaders, including governors, understand and accept the school’s weaknesses. They are focused on the right priorities, but their actions are not having a strong enough impact on improving classroom practice.

“Achievement is not rising fast enough and teaching is not yet good enough to make sure that all groups of students are making better and rapid progress.”

Ofsted inspector Christine Raeside said: “GCSE results in 2013 showed some improvement, notably a rise in mathematics, showing the impact of stronger subject leadership and more stable staffing.

“The proportion of students achieving five or more GCSEs at grade C or higher also improved.

“However, it remains well below the 2012 national average and shows that students are still not making enough progress from their broadly average starting points.”

It came after the 2012 report raised serious concerns. Maths was singled out, with results described as “significantly below” the average.

But the school insists things are moving in the right direction. Mr Dennett said there were many things taking place at the school which were helping it to improve, notably that it is working with Faringdon Community College.

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