Pupils ‘may never catch up’ at failing high school
STUDENTS at a failing high school who have fallen behind in class may never catch up because the teaching isn’t good enough, a damning report has revealed.
Ofsted said that ‘far too many’ pupils at Copley Academy in Stalybridge have ‘large gaps’ in their learning.
An inspection in October – the findings of which were published this week – rated the school as ‘inadequate’ in overall effectiveness.
It said that pupils were ‘uninspired’ by what they were being taught, and that many would lose concentration in classes because teachers weren’t planning lessons well enough.
Examination results were poor and despite changes to senior management, including a new principal, Year 11 pupils were still behind with their studies.
Copley Academy, which has almost 700 students, was also in the worst 10 per cent of schools in the country for helping disadvantaged pupils and those with special needs and disabilities.
The Ofsted report says new principal Sarah Gregory took up her post in January 2018 and has quickly taken effective steps to begin to address under-performance – but she and the new senior leadership team ‘were unable to reverse pupils’ declining achievement.’
The report says: “Poor teaching over time means that far too many pupils have large gaps in their learning.
“The quality of current teaching is insufficiently strong to enable these pupils to make up for lost time.”
However, the inspection found that safeguarding was effective and that pupils were well cared for and safe.
Senior staff were aware of the school’s strengths and weaknesses, and working to make improvements.
Copley Academy is part of the Great Academies Education Trust which runs three other schools in Tameside and Rochdale – Great Academy Ashton, Silver Springs Primary Academy in Stalybridge and Middleton Technology School. Principal Sarah Gregory said: “The academy has undergone many changes in the last 18 months, but I firmly believe we are now in a stronger position to improve.”
She added: “I remain committed to driving the muchneeded change. I look forward to a new, stronger school and to the future as principal of an outstanding Copley Academy.” Allison Crompton, CEO of Great Academies Education Trust, said: “The Ofsted report was disappointing. We share the dismay of parents... we absolutely acknowledge that we must do better to serve the needs of all our children at Copley Academy.
“We have made significant changes, we have a completely new leadership team to lead the academy, a new governance structure and the trust board has new directors.
“The report acknowledges the impact of the new principal and we are confident that Sarah Gregory and her team can rapidly improve the academy.” Allison Crompton, school trust boss
Too many children at Copley Academy in Stalybridge have large gaps in their learning, Ofsted found