A DAMNING Ofsted report that prompted the departure of an academy’s principal and governors’ chairman has finally been published.
Hope Academy at Newton-Le-Willows underwent an inspection at the end of February and now the publication of the findings confirms the school has been classed as “inadequate” and needing special measures to rectify the situation.
Pupils’ achievements, teaching quality, the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management qualities were all given the lowest ranking by inspectors.
The £33m academy, which opened in the autumn of 2011 after a merger between Newton and St Aelred’s high schools, had already been told it requited improvement last year – but the schools watchdog found it slipped backwards rather than improve.
They found students’ progress was poor in most GCSE subjects, and teaching was “inconsistent and sometimes poor quality”.
A high turnover of staff, disruption by students in lessons that was allowed to go unchallenged, ineffective or unmarked work and below average attendance were highlighted.
Leaders and governors were criticised as not having focused enough on improving the teaching quality.
In its favour Hope, was said to have “pockets of good teaching” with English highlighted, and out of class students behaved sensibly and were friendly and courteous.
Students achieving grades A*-C was significantly below the national average and inspectors judged that as a result of poor teaching in previous years many students struggle with GCSE subjects.
Inspectors reported that Hope governors were becoming more actively involved and meet regularly to assess progress.
Regular Ofsted inspections will now be made to ensure the quality of teaching improves as does students’ progress and achievement *After Hope Academy principal John Gannon left in March, Dr David Dennison, former head teacher at St Margaret’s Church of England Academy, Liverpool, was appointed interim principal.
Frank Cogley, the former director of schools for the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, was appointed chairman of governors following the resignation of Bart McGettrick.