Burnley school’s damning Ofsted report

Hameldon Community College in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons
Hameldon Community College in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons
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A Burnley secondary school has received a damning report from inspectors.

Ofsted branded Hameldon Community College in Coal Clough Lane inadequate following the latest visit which highlighted serious weaknesses.

The overall effectiveness of the school and pupils’ achievement was rated inadequate, while quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership were said to require improvement.

It found pupils are not making enough progress in maths and said standards are not high enough in the subject which is a major contributing factor to the inadequate rating.

The report said pupils do not get the chance to develop their communication skills in a range of subjects. Work set by teachers was also criticised with the report saying it fails to meet the needs of all pupils, especially the most able.

Behaviour and safety of pupils was said to need improvement and checks on teaching were found to be not rigorous enough.

“Although students make expected progress in most subjects including English, they underachieve in mathematics. Therefore, achievement overall is inadequate,” the report said.

“The most able students make inadequate progress in a range of subjects because teachers do not have high enough expectations of them.

“Over time, students do not make enough progress in mathematics from their individual starting points. This means that standards in this key subject are too low. In 2012, under half the students made the expected progress in mathematics by the end of Year 11. Only half the students attained A*-C grades in mathematics, compared to nearly three-quarters in English.”

However, the report said the determination of headteacher Miss Gill Broom and her deputy to improve standards at the school was unwavering. Inspectors also said there was some outstanding teaching in a few lessons and the governing body’s support was praised.

Pupils were said to feel safe in school and young people with special needs were said to make good progress.

To improve standards, inspectors said the school needs to eradicate the very small amount of inadequate teaching and improve the overall quality of teaching, improve attendance and behaviour and further improve the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

But Miss Broom said the school is working hard to identify the issues identified in the report.

“We’re already taking decisive action to tackle the issues identified by Ofsted, and the inspectors recognised this when they came to visit us,” she said.

“Their rating is a disappointment, of course, but it is a snapshot of the situation now – not how it will be in the near future. The governors and I are confident that we will improve the quality of the college’s teaching, and indeed we’re already seeing strong results. English results are improving rapidly, we’re doing more to support new starters who have problems with literacy, and our students are on course to achieve much better results in 2014 and 2015.”