Headteacher: Ofsted report a ‘disappointment:

Roddy McCowan, headteacher of Baines High School, Poulton
Roddy McCowan, headteacher of Baines High School, Poulton
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The headteacher at a Poulton school found lacking said it ‘is a disappointment to all of us’.

Education watchdog Ofsted said Baines School, in Highcross Road, ‘requires improvement’ following a recent inspection – the same score it was given after its last full visit in 2015.

It was ranked ‘requires improvement in four key areas, and ‘good’ for personal development, behaviour, and welfare, Ofsted’s report showed.

“Leaders and governors have not ensured that sufficient improvement has been made since the last inspection,” it added.

“Some improvements have been made, but overly positive self-evaluation has meant that sufficient urgency has not been given to school improvement.

“In several subjects, the quality of teaching, learning, and assessment is not yet having a strong enough impact on pupils’ progress.”

Other shortcomings included teachers not checking pupils’ work often enough, subject leaders not being skilled enough to drive up standards, leaders not making sure sixth form students have an appropriate study programme to meet their needs, and sixth-form students not making enough progress.

Good points noted by the team of inspectors included pupils being safe and well cared for, behaviour, and progress and attainment in English and maths.

In a letter sent home to parents, headteacher Roddy McCowan (pictured) said: “The overall grade of ‘requires improvement’ is a disappointment to all of us and, whilst aspects of the school have clearly improved since the last inspection, and Ofsted recognised these, there has not been rapid enough impact upon learners’ outcomes owing to inconsistency between subject performance at both GCSE and A Level.

“These will be speedily addressed and greater consistency will be demanded from teachers and school leaders at all levels to ensure stronger performance.”

In a statement to The Gazette, he added: “Whilst we are disappointed with the outcome, we accept the inspector’s findings and, with the support of the local authority, are developing an action plan to address the issues that have been identified. Progress is already being made to make sure that improvements happen both effectively and quickly.

“The leadership team is committed to working together effectively to drive improvements with the full support of the staff and governors, and we are putting focussed plans in place to ensure that this happens.

“We are already working with the county council’s advisers to develop a long-term improvement action plan with clear timescales to help us to ensure that we raise attainment, through increased monitoring of both teaching and students’ work.

“Although it is too early to see a true impact on pupils’ progress, there is already evidence of improvement, for example, in literacy development. We are all committed to making sure that these improvements continue and that positive change continues.

“We were pleased that the inspectors found many things to praise about our school, including the teaching of English which offers a high level of challenge for pupils, pupils achieving a grade C and above at GCSE in English and Maths is above the national average, pupils understand the value of education and want to achieve, the opportunities for parents to be involved in their children’s education and that children are happy and enjoy being at school.

“We are determined to build on our many strengths, to tackle those areas which need improvement, and ensure that our children receive the quality of education that they deserve.”