High school wins praise from Oftsted inspectors

Students at Shuttleworth College celebrate being praised by Ofsted inspectors for reading more. They are (back)Jason Goldsworthy and Gabriella Lambert.
(Front) Kobe Barrett, Ross McWhinnie, Broen Bleasdale and Katie Walsh
Students at Shuttleworth College celebrate being praised by Ofsted inspectors for reading more. They are (back)Jason Goldsworthy and Gabriella Lambert. (Front) Kobe Barrett, Ross McWhinnie, Broen Bleasdale and Katie Walsh

A Padiham high school, which Ofsted said required improvement last year, is on track to be rated as "good."

A monitoring inspection was carried out at Shuttleworth Community College and inspectors praised headteacher Mrs Ruth England and her staff for their "drive and tenacity" in tackling the areas requiring improvement.

Greater stability for pupils was credited to the fact there have been relatively fewer staff changes at the school than in previous years.

The report pointed out that leaders were committed to their vision to make sure the school is judged as "good" at its next inspection with a whole school focus on developing pupils' literacy skills which has brought a "transformational" change in the school leading to a culture of reading.

Students now talk enthusiastically about the support they receive to help them improve their reading and as a result they now read a wider range of books than was available at the time of the last inspection.

The inspectors also acknowledged that students now have higher ambitions with the school recently having an ‘Industry Day’ where students visited six of Burnley’s businesses as well as having speakers such as AMS Neve owner Mark Crabtree and national journalist Kerry-Anne Mendoza in school.

Inspector Denah Jones said: "In response to the previous inspection, you have driven a whole-school focus on improving aspirations.

“Teachers make sure that the most able pupils are taught the skills they need to be successful at the highest grades in their GCSEs.

“You carefully match pupils to the right curriculum pathway for them, such as making sure that the most able pupils have the opportunity to be entered for three separate sciences.

“As a result of this work, more Year 11 pupils than in the past are indicated to be ‘on track’ to attain five or more top grades in their GCSE examinations. “

Attendance was also praised in the report and Shuttleworth is now on track to be similar to the national average. Fewer pupils are persistently absent, including pupils who are disadvantaged or who have special educational needs.

Pupils told inspectors that in the past they did not have the necessary motivation to attend school regularly. However, with the additional support provided for them through meeting together as an attendance group or having their own mentor, they can see the difference this is making.

Inspectors who carried out the monitroing report now want to see the school take further action to urgently review the effectiveness of governors to ensure that all their statutory duties are met and the school development plan includes strategies to improve governance and reduce further the number of pupils who are excluded, especially those who are disadvantaged or who have special educational needs.

Headteacher Mrs England said: "We are thrilled that inspectors have acknowledged the huge amount of progress made here at Shuttleworth,”

“I am so proud of the ongoing hard work and commitment of staff and students alike. We are a good school and look forward to showing this formally when inspectors return early next year for a full inspection.”