A Lincoln village school has seen its Ofsted rating drop from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’, with particular concerns around ‘behaviour and attitudes’ and ‘personal development’.
Branston Community Academy on Station Road in Branston was visited by Ofsted inspectors between May 10 and 12, 2022 and the findings were published this month.
Inspectors found that various areas need improving with ‘behaviour and attitudes’ and ‘personal development’ both graded, along with the overall effectiveness of the school, as ‘requires improvement’.
However, the ‘quality of education’, ‘leadership and management’, and ‘sixth-form provision’ were all graded as ‘good’.
Inspectors said “most pupils enjoy coming to the school” and have “positive relationships with teachers”, with the “overwhelming majority” feeling safe.
However, the report identified that some students who experienced bullying did not report it and, when they did, it was not always resolved.
Some pupils also feel that their needs are not fully met by the personal development programme. For example, they would like to learn about consent “earlier than they currently do”.
The report says that many teachers approach such topics “sensitively and skilfully”, but some “are not comfortable talking about difficult issues”.
The academy said it has “already responded to the issues raised by strengthening follow up procedures for reports of bullying and relaunching and extended its online reporting systems”.
Ofsted highlights key areas for improvement
- The report states that some pupils experience bullying, but not all feel confident to report concerns to an adult. When concerns are reported “they are not always resolved effectively”.
- Ofsted said leaders must ensure that there is an open culture of respect, where pupils feel confident to report their concerns, knowing that they will be dealt with effectively.
- Ofsted said leaders have not ensured that the programme for personal development fully meets pupils’ needs. It said: “Many pupils have gaps in their knowledge and understanding of British values, including the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
- Leaders have been told to ensure that a “well-planned, sequenced programme of personal development enables pupils to understand the importance of treating all others, including those who share a protected characteristic, with respect”.
- Ofsted said there are occasions when teachers do not correct pupils’ misconceptions. Leaders have been told they must ensure that misconceptions are identified quickly and addressed.
Principal Jo Turner said: “I am delighted the school has recognised the quality of teaching and the positive relationships between students and staff.
“We welcome inspectors pointing out areas where we can improve. The school has a culture of continual improvement for staff and students and we will embrace the opportunity to make out school community even stronger.”
Branston Community Academy was previously rated as ‘outstanding’ at a full inspection in May 2016.
Ofsted inspectors carried out a monitoring visit in December 2019 to determine the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements after concerns had been raised. They deemed safeguarding was effective. At the most recent inspection in May 2022, Ofsted again said that the “arrangements for safeguarding are effective”.