‘We owe it to Spalding to be outstanding’

Executive headteacher Chris Mallaband
Executive headteacher Chris Mallaband
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A Spalding secondary school fighting its way out of special measures is celebrating after a second positive Ofsted monitoring inspection.

Inspectors attended 46 lessons at Sir John Gleed School over two days in early December and the report of their findings was made public on Tuesday.

The letter to headteacher Will Scott from inspector Ian McNeilly stated “the academy 
is not making enough progress towards the removal of special measures”.

However, executive headteacher Chris Mallaband said this was the second monitoring inspection in a row inspectors had been positive about the progress being made in the school.

He said: “We are delighted it has been recognised that we have done a brilliant job with improving students’ behaviour and the level of teaching in the school.

“It is likely we will have an Ofsted inspection before the next set of exams and, hopefully, then we will be released from special measures.”

In spite of noting improvements in the quality of teaching and students’ behaviour, the main reason given for not removing the school from special measures was the “poor examination outcomes of the most recent cohort of Year 11 students”.

GCSE results stated on the school website show 78 per cent of students achieving 5A*-C passes, but only 48 per cent, one in three students, with 5A*-C with English and mathematics – a decline from 2013.

However, the report recognised good achievement in art, food technology and community languages. It said: “Vocational sixth form remains an area of strength.”

Another concern was that the tracking of student progress was inaccurate, resulting in the level of underachievement not being predicted, however a “much-improved” system has now been implemented.

Since the previous monitoring inspection in July, nine teachers had left the academy, including the head of mathematics and head of science, with members of staff being appointed in an acting capacity.

Instability of staffing has been reduced, with five supply teachers being appointed permanently and four new members of staff.

Mr Mallaband said: “This shows that only the best teachers will be employed here.

”We want to see enthusiasm in classes and students with their hands up wishing to take part in lessons.”

It was also noted that the appointment of Mr Mallaband has had a “positive effect”. The report states he and Mr Scott, while helping to secure some “significant improvements” are “well aware that there is much work to do”.

Mr Mallaband said: “It is difficult to predict results when the Government is continually making changes to the exam structure and the amount of course work taken into account, but we are hopeful of a 5-10 per cent increase in students achieving GCSE 5A*-C with English and mathematics this year.

“We would hope to have another Ofsted report shortly afterwards and achieve a ‘good’ grading. But we will not stop there – within three to four years we want to be ‘outstanding’ and then become a beacon for other schools.

“This has to be good for Spalding and all of the children I see every day waiting at bus stops to travel out of town for their education.”