School requires more improvement

PROGRESS: St Hild's School headteacher Colin Reid with deputy head, Penny Barker and some pupils
PROGRESS: St Hild's School headteacher Colin Reid with deputy head, Penny Barker and some pupils

GOVERNMENT inspectors say a Hartlepool secondary school requires improvement – but have praised its progress over the last three years.

St Hild’s CE School, in King Oswy Drive, in Hartlepool is well on its way to becoming a good and, in time, outstanding school according to Ofsted inspectors.

But the report, released yesterday, highlights that GCSE results are below average, the progress of students isn’t good enough and some of the teaching is “a little dull and uninspiring”.

Achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management all require improvement, say inspectors who found the behaviour and safety of the students to be good.

The school’s last Ofsted inspection was three years ago when it was found to be satisfactory, which is effectively the same outcome as this report following the organisation revising its inspection framework last year.

And despite the school being told it needs to improve, inspectors said results have got better and teaching has improved since their last visit.

Lead inspector, Derek Neil, says in his report: “In 2012 there was a considerable improvement in the results and in the rate at which students had made progress.”

He added: “Teaching has improved since the previous inspection and now has some significant strengths.”

The report states that teaching can be improved further by making lessons more exciting and enjoyable and making sure work is always aimed at the right level of difficulty.

The report adds: “The ambitious vision of the headteacher to make this a good and, in time, outstanding school is clear.

“Staff understand what is expected of them and are committed to the task ahead of them.

“The recent improvements indicate that the school is now well on the way to reaching these goals.”

Headteacher Colin Reid acknowledges work needs to be done for the school to continue to improve, but says it’s heading in the right direction.

He said: “The outcome of the inspection is a very good result for St Hild’s.

“We have come a long way in a relatively short space of time and are now within touching distance of a ‘good’ grade.

“Much work still remains to be done, but the school’s dedicated and hardworking staff are determined to build on improvements already achieved to ensure that we continue to move forward and provide the young people of north Hartlepool with the high quality education they deserve.”

The report praises behaviour in lessons and around the school, which is said to have significantly improved since the previous inspection.

It also says school governors are now more effective and says they appreciate how poor the school’s results have been in the past and understand their responsibility in monitoring its performance more closely.