Standards rise at Peele in Long Sutton but Ofsted says improvement is needed

Students Danielle Owen, Lewis Forth, Logan Batten and Loveday Bligh with acting head teacher Elizabeth Smith. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG240216-100TW
Students Danielle Owen, Lewis Forth, Logan Batten and Loveday Bligh with acting head teacher Elizabeth Smith. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG240216-100TW
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Although still requiring improvement, standards at the Peele Community College in Long Sutton are now rising, says Ofsted.

Following its inspection of the 670-pupil secondary school on January 12, the education regulator says it is heading in the right direction.

The report says outcomes in English are improving across the school, pupils with weak literacy skills receive good support and attainment at GCSE is getting closer to the national average.

It goes on to say progress in core subjects is good and acting head Elizabeth Smith and acting deputy Richard Harpham have responded quickly to address teaching and standards.

Governors have a detailed understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement are highly visible in the school and actively support and challenge senior leaders.

Also, pupils’ personal development and welfare are securely established, they feel safe and are supported well within the school.

Advice on careers is well established and all Year 11 pupils leaving the school have secured a place on a course or employment.

Acting head Mrs Smith said: “‘I am enthralled that, as all leaders, teachers, Governors and I take the school forward, the report recognised the current strengths and the progress that has been made since September.

“This is a real credit to all of the individuals who work so hard to support the students we work with.

“We intend to use the results from the inspection to continue to drive the school forward for the better for all our students.”

Although several aspects require further improvement, Mrs Smith was praised for her determination to ensure all staff make full use of systems to manage behaviour and adhere to the assessment and marking policy to ensure the school is in a strong position to continue to improve further.

The report said a high turnover of teaching staff has not helped the school and not enough teaching is having a rapid impact on how well pupils learn.

Recent changes are beginning to have an impact but have not been in place long enough to show sustained improvements.

And teachers do not always allow pupils the time to read feedback comments and reflect on how to improve.

The home learning programme is not yet fully established and opportunities are missed to extend pupils’ knowledge, skills and discipline.

Also, a small number of staff overlook applying school behaviour strategies and low-level chatter then disrupts lessons.

The newness of several subject leaders has slowed down the progress in some areas and not all staff currently express their high expectations of how pupils can and should achieve.

Areas in which the Peele needs to improve include:

• Strengthening the impact of subject leaders by monitoring the quality and impact of teaching and using progress information to pinpoint pupils’ achievements and quickly intervening to address gaps in knowledge and understanding.

• Raising achievement and improving behaviour by providing pupils with interesting, challenging work and instilling in them the confidence to do it, consistently tackling inappropriate behaviour, allowing pupils time in class to review marked work, and firmly 
establishing the home learning programme.

• Developing a cohesive 
approach to firmly embed a culture of high achievement and ambition.

After delivering the same “requires improvement” verdict as the last full inspection in October 2013, inspectors said: “This school requires significant improvement, because it is performing significantly less well than it might in all the circumstances reasonably be expected to perform.”

• Former head Simon Gilman quit in the summer after three years, citing the pressure of the job. He has since returned as a business studies teacher.