September 21, 2022 10.17 am This story is over 20 months old

Lincoln Castle Academy rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted, inspectors’ concerns highlighted

The Principal acknowledges there is “a great deal of work to do”

The Principal of a Lincoln school said “we cannot shy away from the fact that we have a great deal of work to do” after it was rated as Inadequate by Ofsted, but believes the report “does not reflect our aims and aspirations for the school”.

Ofsted inspectors visited Lincoln Castle Academy, which is located on Riseholme Road, on July 5 and 6 this year. The quality of education, and sixth-form provision, were also rated as inadequate, while behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management were graded as requires improvement.

In a letter sent to parents and carers on September 20, Principal Richard Hanson who joined the school this Easter, said the “potential hasn’t yet been realised – and that is what Ofsted rightly concluded”.

Read the full Ofsted report here

The report says that pupils have “mixed feelings and options about the school” and that their “frustrations stem from the changes that are being made very quickly” and not all “understand that these changes will make the school a better place for them”.

It also notes that pupils, parents and carers voice concern about the number of teachers that have left over the last 12 months, with the disruption having had a “negative impact on pupils’ learning”.

The report adds that many parents do not recommend the school, while too many pupils are regularly absent. However, leaders have increased the capacity of the attendance team to improve pupils’ attendance and it is “starting to have a positive impact”.

Pupils are beginning to meet leaders’ raised expectations and many pupils said that behaviour is improving. However, many pupils are sent out of lessons because they do not meet the expectations well enough.

When pupils are removed from lessons for poor behaviour and sent to the ‘matrix room’ or ‘supervision room’ their education does not continue.

The report also details that some staff have not yet built a positive enough relationship with some pupils. Staff deal with bullying when pupils report it, but some pupils are not confident in reporting bullying to some teachers.

Students in sixth form do not feel that they are part of the school. The report says “they do not feel that their experiences reflect the vision that was ‘sold to [them]’ when they decided to study here”. “Staff turnover and poor teaching also affect the quality of the education students receive in sixth form,” the report adds.

The report states that many teachers do not have an ‘appropriate level of subject knowledge’ and are not well equipped to teach their subjects. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are not always supported well enough to learn and progress through the curriculum.

However, inspectors also said that “new leaders at all levels are starting to make improvements to the school”. Safeguarding was also seen to be effective.

The Lincolnite contacted the school for a statement of response to the Ofsted report.

Richard Hanson, Principal at Lincoln Castle Academy, said: “When I joined this school at Easter, I knew that there was a great deal to do.

“This school has so much potential. We have brilliant students, some very dedicated staff and a school community that can really thrive. For lots of reasons that potential hasn’t yet been realised – and that is what Ofsted rightly concluded.

“Three of the five categories that Ofsted inspect were rated as Requiring Improvement, with two graded as Inadequate. Due to the way that the Ofsted Framework is set up, the school was graded as Inadequate overall.”

He added: “I appreciate how disappointed our community will be. While we cannot shy away from the fact that we have a great deal of work to do, this report does not reflect our aims and aspirations for the school.

“This summer, for example, the Trust has spent over £1.2 million on our learning environments. We also celebrated the school’s strongest ever set of GCSE and A-Level results. We continue to invest significant time and effort into transforming our staff training programmes.

“We are building. The changes we are making, while still relatively new, are putting us on a very positive trajectory. We will continue to do what we need to help Lincoln Castle Academy move forward with pace and purpose.”