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Norton College action to put Ofsted report in past
2:46pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
Norton College has committed itself to ‘raising the bar’ and securing outstanding status after a critical report from Ofsted.
Senior staff, including new deputy headteacher Kavina Rothenburg, have been appointed to join the leadership team, as the college strives to address problems highlighted following an inspection in June.
The panel of four inspectors, who observed 38 lessons taught by 37 teachers, found there was a need for “significant improvement” in the progress of students in Years 7 to 11, and in post-16 courses.
Their report said “The college is not satisfactory because, following a very successful inspection in 2007, it failed to sustain high levels of attainment, while the achievement of pupils was inadequate in 2009 and 2011 in English and maths.
“While indications are that attainment and progress have improved in these subjects for the current Year 11, the legacy of under-achievement remains, especially in Key Stage Three.”
The inspectors said the college had been through a period where a substantial proportion of its leading teachers had been engaged in supporting the work of other schools.
“During this time, middle managers and other senior leaders were unable to sustain improvement in key subject areas.
“Some management appointments were unsuccessful and as a result, policy developments were not always seen through and achievement fell to inadequate.”
However, the inspectors said leaders had tackled the college’s problems conscientiously and generically since September 2011.
The report states: “They have re-focused their attentions on their own college, made some significant improvements in areas including English, and tackled ineffective teaching robustly.
“The impact of these changes is clear evidence that the college has the capacity to improve, providing that its own needs are prioritised by its own staff.”
Headteacher Phil Loftus said that since last year everyone connected with the college had worked tirelessly to ensure that this summer’s exam results reflected a huge improvement and they were encouraged by the English and maths results.
“This summer’s results were the best ever for the college in these subjects and should give parents confidence that the college has already made great strides in addressing the issues raised by last year’s poor results,” he said.
“In all respects, this is the best time to have children at Norton because expectations are high from leadership, staff are willing and we know, quite rightly, our parent body expects the best and will ensure that they secure that for their children.”
Mr Loftus said Ofsted would return to the college in six months and again at the start of 2014, and to ensure the school secured ‘outstanding’ as soon as possible the leadership team had been joined by Mrs Rothenburg, deputy headteacher for student development.
“It was pleasing to see that Ofsted agreed that the new senior team has already had an impact and we have clear plans to accelerate this into next year and beyond,” he added.
“I am delighted that Ofsted recognised so much ‘good’ teaching in their visit. Staff are clear about what is expected of them, the support they will receive, but also the challenge that will be offered to ensure that every lesson, every day, can be ‘good’.
“We know our results this summer will be a clear signal to Ofsted that things are back on track again.”