“The quality of education” at St Sampson’s High School “is not good enough” according to the Office for Standards in Education, Children Services and Skills (Ofsted).
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture (ESC) said the findings are “unacceptable” and has expressed disappointment with the school's rating.
The independent inspection by Ofsted was carried out after a new external inspection agreement was made with the Office last year. St Sampson’s High School is the second school to be inspected and it has rated incredibly poorly, according to Oftsed’s grading system.
Four aspects of the school were inspected and rated and given a rating of Excellent, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate.
The findings were as follows:
Ofsted said in its report: “The quality of education at St Sampson’s High School is not good enough. Senior leaders have not ensured that the curriculum is implemented well.
“Some pupils progress through the curriculum well and enjoy school. However, far too many pupils do not gain the knowledge they need because staff do not have high enough expectations of what they can achieve.
“Pupils’ behaviour around the school is poor. While most pupils show respect to their teachers, some do not. Some pupils ignore or directly challenge their teachers. Poor behaviour sometimes goes unchecked because staff do not apply the behaviour policy consistently. When bullying happens, pupils report it to their teachers, but they have little confidence that staff will be able to put a stop to it.
“As a result, many pupils do not feel safe in school. The school provides pupils with rich cultural and artistic experiences. For example, pupils present an evening of music, art and drama for parents. Pupils take part in many sporting activities and clubs at school. These help to build pupils’ confidence and resilience.”
The President of ESC, Deputy Andrea-Dudley Owen, has expressed her disappointment at the findings and acknowledges that parents will be concerned.
“The St Sampson’s High School community will I’m sure be concerned about the findings – as are we, but I want to take this opportunity to reassure that the report acknowledges that Mrs Godley [Vickey Godley, St Sampson’s High School Principal] has a clear understanding of what needs to change. Mrs Godley was very deliberately brought in to lead the school two years ago following the excellent job she did at La Mare de Carteret High School, with the goal of achieving similar improvements and cultural change at St Sampson’s High," she said.
“Cultural change for the better does not happen overnight, nor does a deterioration in standards. Ultimate accountability for the quality of our schools rests with the Committee, which is a constant despite changes in its membership over time.
“As the President of the Committee I apologise unreservedly to the students and families who have been let down as a result of a drop in standards and I commit to ensuring there is an immediate and marked improvement.”
Pictured: “As an interim measure, we [ESC] have taken on the role of governors in a more active way than has been seen previously,” said Deputy Dudley-Owen.
Not only was the quality of education criticised in Ofsted’s report, the Office said safeguarding arrangements at the school are not effective.
“Senior leaders have recently established an effective system for identifying and helping pupils who are at risk of harm,” it said.
“When necessary, staff communicate quickly with external agencies to protect pupils at times of greatest need. Senior leaders work effectively with the Education Office to carry out statutory recruitment checks on all staff.
“Even so, many pupils do not feel safe at school because they fear poor behaviour or bullying. Over a number of years, senior leaders have introduced behaviour systems that have subsequently been dropped. They have not had enough impact on pupils’ behaviour.”
Pictured: The report said student’s school attendance was “too low”.
The school’s Principal, Mrs Godley, has apologised for the school “not delivering at the level we all expect”.
“I want to assure our students and their parents and carers that we know there is much work to do, we know and recognise the issues and we will work tirelessly to address them,” she said.
“From a personal perspective, I have been in a similar situation before when I joined La Mare High. The staff there pulled together, we developed a new culture and the whole community saw the benefits. I have no doubt the same can and will happen at St Sampson’s. It takes time but we know we need to generate improvements urgently.”
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