Inspectors’ concern over merger school

Collegiate High School has been told it has 'serious weaknesses' by Ofsted inspectors and (below) acting headteacher John Topping.
Collegiate High School has been told it has 'serious weaknesses' by Ofsted inspectors and (below) acting headteacher John Topping.
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A school at the centre of a controversial merger has been placed in a “category of concern” by inspectors.

Collegiate High School has been told it has “serious weaknesses” and “requires improvement” following an inspection by Ofsted in October.

Acting headteacher John Topping

Acting headteacher John Topping

A report handed to bosses at the school on Blackpool Old Road read:

• Students’ achievement is too low and shows only limited signs of improvement

• Teaching is too variable and some inadequate teaching remains

• Where teaching is less effective in engaging their interests, students display low-level disruptive behaviour

Collegiate High School is set to merge with Bispham High School, with work expected to start on a multi-million pound redevelopment of the Blackpool Old Road site.

The new facility will house the new schools which look set to take on academy status, under the guidance of Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance, made up of a group of schools and organisations to improve education across the Fylde.

Collegiate’s acting headteacher, John Topping, said the judgement is fully accepted and that work is already under way to ensure improvements.

He said: “The school is already implementing plans to act upon the report’s suggestions. The inspectors were happy with the number of pupils at Key Stage 3 who have achieved the expected progress in maths and English, as well as being pleased with the safety of pupils around school and the orderly school community.

“However, there are aspects of the report which need addressing in order to improve our Ofsted rating, which the leadership team and myself are committed to delivering.”

Inspectors did note some strengths during a two-day inspection in early October.

The report said “students feel safe and appreciate the support they get from staff” and “in the best teaching, teachers encourage students to develop their learning skills”. It also noted that governors have taken “tough decisions” in steering the school through “challenging times”.

Mr Topping added: “This is a transitional time for the school, while we prepare to become one merged school in a new building and this report has added to that challenge.

“However the vision of the school continues to be that all children get the best possible education.”

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