Pupils ‘may never catch up’ at fail­ing high school

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By SAM YARWOOD news­[email protected] @MENnews­desk

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

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