INSPECTORS have found that a secondary school has a clear plan in place to increase standards and is making progress – but improvements still have to be made in the way it engages with pupils.

Ofsted made the comments following a monitoring visit to Rainford Technology College, the first since an initial inspection in February which ruled the school required improvement.

The main criticism in the earlier report was the mixed quality of teaching and that it was not doing enough to “ensure rapid progress for all students”.

Following last month’s visit inspector Patrick Geraghty highlighted three specific issues in which the school could improve.

These were:

  • To promote ways to encourage students to take part in a “strong aspirational and improvement culture”.
  • To develop extra activities such as debating, reading groups and extra groups to challenge students.
  • To ensure that sixth form students are supported and challenged to achieve the highest levels.

But there was praise too, with Mr Geraghty saying that the head teacher Ian Young has produced an improvement plan that tackles key recommendations from the February inspection.

He added: “The school’s tracking and monitoring systems are now better focused on charting the progress made by students supported by the pupil premium and identifying where interventions are required to enable better student progress.

“Intervention to promote improvement is quicker and better focused.”

He added there is a clearer focus by senior leaders at the school to ensure the quality of teaching is high and consistent across all subjects.

Mr Geraghty also praised Rainford’s governors saying that they have a “good understanding of what needs to be done to improve the progress that all students make”.

St Helens Council has vowed that “coasting will not be in option” in any schools and has developed a policy that will see it intervene where standards are not high enough.

This will be led by a St Helens School Commissioner and School Improvement Board.