Council boss’ confident in ‘inadequate’ school as improvements found

Highfield Humanities College, South Shore (photo by Will Pryce)
Highfield Humanities College, South Shore (photo by Will Pryce)
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Council bosses have backed a Blackpool secondary school as it meets the “challenge” of improving from being rated inadequate.

Highfield Humanities College in South Shore, the resort’s only council-led secondary school, was last year given the lowest rating by Ofsted inspectors and placed in special measures.

It has since had follow up visits from the independent inspectorate which has found it is making “reasonable progress” and

Headteacher Ian Evans said the report was “a step in the right direction.”

Now Coun John Jones (pictured), the local authority’s cabinet member for education, has said he is confident the school will rise to the challenge.

He said: “It’s pleasing to hear the improvements taking place at Highfield Humanities College have been picked up on by the inspectors.

“We have a fantastic facility at Highfield which is a perfect place for pupils to learn and we want to ensure it is thriving and is able to meet the ‘Blackpool Challenge’ of becoming a good or outstanding school.”

Highfield is a member of The Blackpool Challenge Board, created by Blackpool Council and the Regional Schools Commissioner to help all schools and academies in the town to improve through a new approach involving greater collaboration with businesses and the community.

The follow-up report, published on Wednesday, found:

> A downward trend in the percentage of pupils who attain five GCSE A-Cs has been halted.

> Students are actively engaged in lessons.

> Leadership is improved and governors are supportive but challenging.

The school was also given recommendations on how to improve further to ensure “a rapid and sustained rise” in GCSE outcomes.

Inspectors also said:

> Improvements in marking need to be made.

> Pupil achievement could be better celebrated.