Improvements required at academy- headteacher says school is heading in right direction

Pamela Massett. Principle of Hemsworth Arts & Community College.'h302a235
Pamela Massett. Principle of Hemsworth Arts & Community College.'h302a235

A secondary school has been told it still requires improvement two years after it was criticised by education inspectors.

Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy came under the spotlight of Ofsted inspectors again recently and was found it needed to improve in all but one of five key areas - it’s 16 to 19-year-old programme which was found to be ‘good’.

The others include effectiveness of leadership, quality of teaching, personal development and pupil behaviour, and pupils’ outcomes, all of which were found not to be up to scratch.

In the published report of the Wakefield Road school, the leaders were criticised for not ensuring that teaching was consistently strong enough, there are also issues with students losing interest in their subjects, attendance is below average and that behavioural problems had led to exclusions being above average.

The report reads: “The school’s behaviour policy is not used consistently well by all teachers.

“Some teachers do not have high enough expectations of pupils and, as a result, pupils do not act in accordance with behavioural norm.

“A significant minority of pupils do not comply with the school’s high expectations of behaviour, both in the classroom and when moving around school.

“Consequently, fixed-term exclusions are well above average.

“Leaders have not ensured that teaching is consistently strong enough to secure good outcomes for pupils across different year groups and in a range of subjects.

“Overall, pupils do not make good progress from their starting points.

“Achievement is improving in some subjects, but not quickly enough in all subjects for different groups of pupils.”

It comes after the academy’s first inspection in May 2015 flagged up similar issues, including pupils’ achievement being a cause for concern.

Consistent teaching standards and behaviour around the school were also highlighted.

However, in the latest report, inspectors say some improvements have been made since then.

It praised the leadership of the sixth form, said that teachers were now being held accountable, teaching assistants were helping to support those with special educational needs and that the school’s ‘work to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is good’.

It also reported that effective guidance means most post 16-year-olds from the school go onto further education, employment or training.

Principal Pamela Massett said the report recognised the work that had been put in by staff and students.

She said: “We have made progress and the report recognises that.

“A huge amount of work has gone into ensuring the new curriculum is fit for purpose and has the interests of the students at its heart. Everybody is aware there remains much to be done, but Hemsworth is in a good place to drive forward.”