Burnley secondary school presses for academy status

Hameldon Community College in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons
Hameldon Community College in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons

A Burnley secondary school which was said to have serious weaknesses a year ago is making reasonable progress and has now formally applied to become an academy.

Following the latest monitoring visit at Hameldon Community College in Coal Clough Lane, Ofsted inspectors said the school had taken steps to address the weaknesses identified in October 2013.

The school has applied to become an academy sponsored by the Pennine Federation.

The report said: “The headteacher and staff have continued to make rapid improvements in the areas identified by the section 5 inspection. The systems for monitoring and evaluating the quality of teaching have been embedded well and the quality of teaching has improved steadily.

“The small amount of inadequate teaching that existed at the time of the section 5 inspection has been eradicated. Rigorous monitoring and performance management, alongside the in-house ‘minimum good’ programme of training and support for all staff, have ensured the targets and initial milestones set by the school to improve teaching and learning have been met.”

Pupil progress was said to have improved in maths while attendance at the school, said to be poor a year ago, has improved.

But inspectors found punctuality was still a problem. The report said: “Attendance has risen steadily and is now slightly above the national average. Punctuality, however, remains a problem and the school has not reached its own targets for improvement. The number of exclusions has dramatically reduced, though it is still slightly higher than the ambitious targets set out in the SIP. The management of behaviour by most staff has also improved and the school’s data shows a substantial reduction in internal exclusions from classes.”

Achievement at GCSE level was highlighted as an area which had improved significantly and governors were praised for continuing to support the school.

“The headteacher, with the support of key senior staff, provides very strong leadership and this has enabled leaders throughout the school to grow in confidence and press forward determinedly with their improvement programme. As a result, it is clear students are making better progress than at the time of the section 5 inspection.”

Despite the improvements made at the school, inspectors found more work is needed to enhance the achievements of more able pupils.