A TOWN secondary school has been labelled as “inadequate” by Government inspectors who are particularly concerned about the low achievement of students.
A team of Ofsted inspectors who visited Manor College of Technology, in Hartlepool, last month say weak and inadequate teaching has not been eradicated at the school and criticised teachers for not always demanding enough of the students.
The team of five inspectors marked the overall effectiveness of the school at the lowest possible mark – inadequate.
They said the achievement of pupils is inadequate and believe quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management at the school, in Owton Manor Lane, all “require improvement”.
However, the school has been praised for recent changes to the organisation of the governing body and the appointment of additional governors to monitor the work of senior leaders.
The report also states that “staff morale is good because they recognise that the headteacher and senior leaders are making important and necessary improvements at the college”.
Headteacher Anne Malcolm said the school is “rapidly improving”, adding: “There have been many changes to the Ofsted inspection framework and to education as a whole in recent times.
“In real terms, we have made significant progress since our last Ofsted inspection and I can assure parents that Manor College is fully prepared to deal with further changes and to move forward.”
The report points to a sharp drop in the attainment of the students in last year’s GCSE results and says the “extent of the decline was not anticipated by leaders or governors”.
Inspectors said: “Too many students made very limited progress in English or mathematics from the levels of attainment they had reached at age 11.”
The report also says standards are too low in science.
The school is praised for supporting those with disabilities and special needs and says it has a “highly effective withdrawal provision” to support students with behavioural difficulties”.
However, although inspectors say the majority of teaching seen during the inspection was good or better, the overall quality of teaching requires improvement.
The quality of teaching at the school has been more closely monitored this year following a reorganisation which “is increasing the proportion of good and outstanding teaching”.
Students were praised for their punctuality and inspectors said the school’s work to keep youngsters safe and secure was good.
However the report concluded that the behaviour of students requires improvement and says students reported that behaviour varied from lesson to lesson.
The school’s senior leaders now “fully understand the need to raise students’ achievement, according to the report.
Mrs Malcolm said: “The last two and a half years have seen many changes at Manor College and we are pleased that the Ofsted team recognised these and regarded them as positive and bringing about improvement.
“The majority of teaching observed during the recent inspection was good or better, students clearly enjoy their school, students with special needs and disabilities are making good progress and the school has a strong inclusive culture.
“In addition, Ofsted acknowledges that the morale of staff is good and says this is because they recognise that the headteacher and other senior leaders are making important improvements and driving the school in the right direction.
“Being headteacher at Manor College is a privilege and I am proud with how hard students and staff have worked together to ensure that we achieve better outcomes but retain our ethos and sense of family.
“Ofsted’s judgement is based upon our previous examination results and, unfortunately, under the current inspection system little account can be taken of estimated grades for the next three years.
“These estimated grades demonstrate significant improvement and progress.”