Westhoughton High School 'needs improvement' - inspectors
A HIGH school has been told to improve by education watchdogs — after they said that too few pupils make good progress.
Westhoughton High School, which was previously marked as good by Ofsted inspectors, has now been deemed to “require improvement”.
All areas — apart from behaviour and safety of pupils, which was marked as good — must improve, they said.
Inspectors reported that although the number of students achieving five or more good GCSE passes is in line with the national average, reflecting expected progress, “too few students make good progress”.
They said: “Achievement is not consistently good in several subjects and requires improvement, especially in mathematics. The overall quality of teaching requires improvement.”
Ofsted found that even though Bolton Council provides good advice and guidance in identifying areas for improvement, it had “less success in delivering the support needed”.
Strengths included pupils’ positive attitudes to learning and that teaching is improving, with examples of outstanding teaching. The school was also praised for the achievement of vulnerable children.
The inspectors reported: “The headteacher is committed to raising standards and has an accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Head Phil Hart said: “The recent inspection has agreed with our own evaluations of the school, which is continuing to progress and improve against the current Ofsted criteria, which continue to evolve themselves. It is very disappointing to have the overall judgement as it is, from the ‘good’ in February, 2011. All our key progress indicators are much stronger than they were at that time.”
He added that the report recognised a number of strengths in the school, such as quality of the student support systems and the above average numbers going on to further study and work.
Mr Hart said: “The team recognised what we know about our courteous, supportive students, who have a positive attitude to learning and have responded well to the changes that we have made.”
He promised the school would continue to improve and that the “daily quality of learning” would be monitored.
Cllr Martyn Cox, vice- chairman of the children’s services scrutiny committee, who is also a Westhoughton councillor, called for the school to “up its game”. “It is a good school and there is no reason why it cannot get results as good as Mount St Joseph and Sharples School,” he said.
A council spokesman added: “We recognise the urgency that a ‘requires improvement’ brings and we have already begun work with the school.”
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