Academy steps up fol­low­ing con­cerns raised by watch­dog

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

TYTHER­ING­TON School has un­der­gone its first in­spec­tion since be­com­ing an academy last year.

The in­spec­tion was car­ried out in April by Of­sted fol­low­ing con­cerns about the achieve­ment of the 15 per cent of dis­ad­van­taged pupils on its reg­is­ter, and fo­cused on the qual­ity of lead­er­ship and man­age­ment at the school.

But on his lat­est visit, in­spec­tor Pa­trick Ger­aghty found that mid­dle and lower abil­ity dis­ad­van­taged pupils were mak­ing bet­ter progress, with achieve­ment gaps be­tween them and their peers ‘closing rapidly’.

He also praised the academy for the pro­ce­dures that had been put in place to sup­port dis­ad­van­taged pupils, in­clud­ing the strong com­mit­ment from the head teacher Steve Jowett, staff and teach­ers. As the school is an academy, it is no longer sub­ject to the tra­di­tional Of­sted in­spec­tion and grades, but it is still vis­ited by the school watch­dog.

Steve Jowett, head­teacher, said the school had worked very hard to en­sure all stu­dents made bet­ter than av­er­age progress.

He added that some par­ents were not happy their chil­dren were la­belled ‘dis­ad­van­taged’ but said the school worked not only with aca­demic considerations, but placed ‘a high im­por­tance’ on sup­port­ing stu­dents and fam­i­lies in a range of ed­u­ca­tional ar­eas.

He said: “The re­port re­flects the strength we have in this part of our work and gives good ad­vice on how we can im­prove fur­ther, which we wel­come.

“Our at­ten­dance is 95pc to 96pc, above the na­tional av­er­age, but we are def­i­nitely look­ing at be­ing a bit more proac­tive with re­gards to dis­cus­sions with par­ents.

“The re­port con­tains many pos­i­tive com­ments and has given ev­ery­one a boost.”

The in­spec­tor also noted greater choice in the cur­ricu­lum, with work place­ments used ‘more ap­pro­pri­ately’ to in­form pupils on ca­reer choices, re­duc­ing the per­cent­age of dis­ad­van­taged pupils not go­ing into ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing or em­ploy­ment from 15pc in 2012 to zero in 2014.

Pas­toral sup­port was judged ‘ex­cel­lent’ and ‘com­pre­hen­sive’, en­abling pupils with ‘bar­ri­ers to learn­ing’ to cope bet­ter.

There was ‘strong com­mit­ment’ from the head­teacher and ‘ex­cel­lent co­or­di­na­tion’ be­tween staff to en­sure dis­ad­van­taged pupils got ad­di­tional sup­port and in­ter­ven­tions.

Ar­eas of im­prove­ment noted were the ini­ti­a­tion of dis­cus­sions with par­ents over dis­ad­van­taged pupils’ at­ten­dance.

In­spec­tors found the trig­ger of 90pc at­ten­dance was ‘too low’ and said it should be closer to the school av­er­age of more than 95pc.

Eval­u­a­tion of meth­ods to im­prove achieve­ment was also noted.

●● Head­teacher Steve Jowett, pic­tured with pupils Timmy Whittaker, Joe Blair, Will Bellerby and Louise Shaw, said the re­port re­flects the school’s strengths

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