Watchdog lifts freeze on class recruitment

Montgomery High School on All Hallows Road, Bispham
Montgomery High School on All Hallows Road, Bispham
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A secondary school where a quarter of its teachers were found to be “not good enough” has made enough progress to be able to employ newly qualified teachers.

Montgomery High School, Bispham, was slated by Ofsted inspectors in May last year, after it was judged to be performing inadequately, and placed in special measures.

Headteacher Simon Brennand

Headteacher Simon Brennand

The school, on All Hallows Road, was further criticised after a follow-up visit in September found, by school bosses’ own admission, that the “day-to-day quality of teaching” by 26 out of its 90 teaching staff was “not good enough”.

Now, just eight months on, the school has been found to be making improvements and the inspectorate has lifted a condition on the school, allowing it to employ newly qualified teachers.

However, the school, which converted to academy status in August 2012, has since joined the Fylde Coast Academy Trust and has been “strongly” advised any new teachers should be overseen by the trust.

In a letter to headteacher Simon Brennand, inspector Mark Williams said: “The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures

“I am of the opinion the school may appoint newly qualified teachers (NQTs).

“I recommend strongly that any such NQTs be appointed through the academy trust, to ensure support is given to these teachers from the outset, and that they are provided with opportunities to observe good and better teaching.”

The inspector added that he was confident the school’s “statement of action” is “fit for purpose”.

Headteacher delighted with latest Ofsted judgement that ‘teaching is better’ and ‘students are doing well’

Headteacher Simon Brennand said: “I am delighted to note that inspectors found all groups of students are making better progress in their learning as a result of improvements to teaching quality and school systems.

“It is especially pleasing to note inspectors’ agreement with our judgement that good and better teaching over time is evident across the school.

“We continue to drive for absolute consistency in all areas of the school’s work.”

The school boss said he was also pleased to see various other aspects of the school praised in the recent report, including pupils.

He added: “The excellent behaviour of the vast majority of students was praised by inspectors.

“It is also pleasing to note the recognition of the increased challenge provided by our Academy Council and that the school’s self-evaluation is accurate.”