Inspectors brand teaching at Lincoln school in special measures as “not good enough”

Pupils’ attainment at a Lincoln secondary school placed into special measures in 2015 has continued to decline, inspectors have revealed.

Cherry Willingham Community School was criticised for its leadership and failure to keep pupils safe by Ofsted in a report published in July 2015.

Inspectors ranked the school as ‘inadequate’, the lowest possible rating.

A further inspection conducted in December 2015 concluded that the school’s leadership was “taking effective action” to come out of special measures.

Ofsted inspectors returned to the school for a two-day monitoring inspection on March 15 and 16, to assess how much progress was being made by teachers and staff.

In a report published on April 18, inspectors said the leadership team is taking effective action towards the removal of special measures, with the school now permitted to appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring inspection.

Safeguarding of pupils has continued to improve at the school, with incidents of low-level disruption reducing significantly according to their records.

However, since the inspection judging the school to be inadequate, inspectors have found that there has been a fall in pupils’ achievement.

Inspectors said:

The quality of teaching is not good enough to ensure that pupils make the progress they should.

“Not all teachers have high enough expectations of their pupils. They do not create activities that sufficiently challenge pupils and fully develop their understanding.

“More recently, senior leaders have taken action to improve the quality of teaching. However, it is too early to measure the impact of these actions.”

The report also highlighted higher than average levels of pupil absences and exclusions as a cause for concern.

Inspectors added: “Senior leaders must check the attendance and progress of all groups of pupils more precisely to enable leaders at all levels to secure rapid improvement in all pupils’ attendance and achievement.

“Subject leaders, particularly of English, mathematics, science and humanities, must take timely and effective action to improve the quality of teaching and to raise pupils’ achievement.

“All teachers must plan activities that engage and challenge all pupils, to ensure that all pupils make the progress they should in developing their knowledge, skills and understanding.”

Cherry Willingham Community School has been contacted for a statement.

— Update on April 19 at 7pm: Cherry Willingham Community School headteacher Elaine Stiles said in a statement:

“The staff and governors always knew the path to excellence would be a difficult one and we acknowledge there is still some way to go to reach the very high standards we are determined to reach.

“We are pleased that much progress has been made in the few months since the inspection, and the recent monitoring report has identified many areas of improvement already made.

“Inspectors recognised that behaviours have improved significantly and that we are focused on strengthening the quality of education.

“But we know there is more work yet to do and we will continue our wholehearted commitment to driving up the standards at the school.”

The school has already commissioned external reviews of subjects where there was some underachievement and has already taken action to improve the quality of teaching.