Big improvements at Pendle school rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted

Ofsted inspectors have found that the new leadership team at West Craven High School in Barnoldswick has wasted no time in strengthening safeguarding and the curriculum offer.
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After the last full inspection in 2019, new Principal Mrs Tracy Foy and the experienced Pendle Education Trust team including Executive Principal for Secondary Education, Mrs Lynne Blomley, immediately took action to make improvements, continuing this through the difficult recent period of partial school closures due to the pandemic.

The inspectors' latest comments are a welcome boost to the school which in January of last year was rated "inadequate" by Ofsted inspectors.

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And now in the first monitoring visit, inspectors have recognised the progress made by the school’s Senior Leadership Team, including its new Executive Governing Board.

Some of the West Craven 'Class of 2020'Some of the West Craven 'Class of 2020'
Some of the West Craven 'Class of 2020'

Ofsted’s latest report states that there is a strong culture of safeguarding right across the school and considerable structural changes have been implemented, benefiting students whether they have been learning at home or in school.

The report goes on to say that despite the onset of the pandemic, leaders continued with plans to develop the curriculum and invested in training to ensure that subject leaders have a clearer understanding of how to plan an ambitious curriculum, including for remote education.

Mrs Foy said: “We are so pleased with the feedback from our first Ofsted monitoring visit. Despite the challenges of the past year with the pandemic , we have worked tirelessly on our improvement plan and we are pleased that the progress that is being made against our key priorities has been recognised.

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“I’m really proud of how our entire school community has worked together to ensure improvements are made each day and I look forward to welcoming inspectors back for future visits to continue to show them the progress being made.”

In what has been an uncertain time for students due to take their GCSEs, the Ofsted report said that leaders at West Craven are acutely aware of the importance of ensuring that students in Year 11 are fully prepared for the next stage of their education, employment or training. An example of this is that Leaders have made time at the end of each day to help Year 11 students catch up on any lost learning.

Mrs Blomley added: “We are pleased that the rapid progress we are making has been recognised by Ofsted. We are very proud of how we supported students and their families, including those with special educational needs, during the partial school closures.

"The Ofsted inspectors recognised this and how important this support has been to our students both educationally and in terms of their well-being.

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“We continue to develop strong relationships with our families and would like to thank all of those who responded to the Ofsted Parent View survey which provided valuable feedback for the inspectors.”

Anita Ghidotti, chief executive of Pendle Education Trust, added: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to show Oftsed all the things we have improved and developed since their last visit. I would like to thank staff, governors, Trustees, parents and of course our children – everyone has played their part.

"West Craven is at the heart of its community and all progress and future success comes from us all working together. We are proud of what we have achieved to date and continue to be committed to providing the very best education for all the children in our Trust family.”

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