Closure-threatened Crowland school ‘satisfactory’

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STUDENTS at a Crowland secondary school under threat of closure are not doing as well as they should be, according to Ofsted.

The St Guthlac School was judged to be satisfactory overall but inspectors found the pupils’ attainment – the standard of work shown by exam results and in lessons – was not up to scratch.

Pupils’ attainment was rated low – the worst possible rating – although the school was considered satisfactory in all other areas of the inspection.

The inspector, Nada Trikic, said: “Despite the challenges of falling rolls, a budget deficit, staff turnover and leadership changes, the school has maintained a strong focus on raising standards.

“Although standards remain low, one key indicator has risen strongly since the last inspection.

“In 2010, the proportion of students who gained five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C improved by 20 percentage points to 80 per cent, which is above the national average.”

Areas highlighted for the school to work on include:

r raising standards and increasing the proportion of good lessons

r improving students’ personal development, attendance and standards of behaviour;

r achieving consistency and improvement across the school by strengthening monitoring, evaluation and lines of accountability.

The report adds: “The quality of students’ day-to-day learning experiences varies across lessons.

“In most lessons observed, students had positive attitudes to learning, behaved well and worked co-operatively with each other and the teacher.

“Students are often too dependent on the teacher for information and direction as the learning tasks are not sufficiently well matched to students’ needs. This slows the pace of learning.”

The school is currently under threat as consideration is given to its federated school – the George Farmer Technology and Language College in Holbeach – becoming an academy.

If the academy goes ahead the proposal is to eventually close St Guthlac and accommodate the students at the Holbeach site.

The existing school building could be used to house a bigger primary school for Crowland.