Longcroft School in Beverley has been inspected by Her Majesty’s Inspector Jan Bennett on to assess the progress the school had made since being given an Ofsted ‘notice to improve’ on April 18 2012.
The headteacher Ian O’Donnell, school staff and students are delighted with the Inspector’s views that they have made good progress in all areas.
In April the school was asked by Ofsted to make four changes : 1. improve the quality of teaching, 2. expand the range of subjects - ensuring literacy and numeracy are developed in other subjects, 3. fully embed new policies and practice and 4. improve communication with parents. Exceptionally in a first HMI progress visit, the school was judged to have made good progress in all these areas, after just two terms of hard work by staff and students under the new headteacher’s leadership.
In the new Ofsted report, the Inspector praised the school’s improved examination results in the summer, saying: “Achievement is improving well in all year groups. The proportion of Year 11 students achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and mathematics, rose by six percentage points in 2012. The improvement in mathematics was particularly marked, with an increase of 11% on the proportion of students obtaining A* to C passes.”
The inspector noted the school’s improved systems for helping students learn effectively. ‘”The monitoring of students’ progress is much more rigorous. Frequent reviews identify any students who are falling behind so that remedial action can be taken quickly.”
HMI Bennett found evidence in the school that a real difference is being made by their new approaches.
School leaders, including governors, use data well to assess the impact of initiatives, identify any areas of weak performance and monitor the progress of different groups of students.’
The Inspector recognised the school’s effective strategies to improve teaching in the school in just two terms. ‘Teaching is improving rapidly and making a major contribution to raising achievement. The proportion of good or better teaching has increased markedly over the last year.
The Inspector also recognised that the new headteacher, Ian O’Donnell, has made a decisive difference to the school in the last two terms, saying: “The headteacher provides an ambitious but achievable vision for the school that has lifted staff morale and won their support. He is pushing improvements through at a fast but well-judged pace and prioritises well.”
HMI Bennett recognised the role that the Governing Body have played in driving improvement.
“Governance is increasingly strong. Governors have a more business-like approach and a good blend of expertise and skills enabling them to challenge and support the senior leadership team well.”
Councillor Julie Abraham, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for children, young people and local authority schools, said: “We are delighted with the rapid improvements in the school and we know this is valued by the local community. We look forward to another good school in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the near future. We are grateful for the tremendous work by the headteacher, staff and students that has led to this exceptional progress report.”
Alison Michalska the director of children, family and adult services, said: “ We are proud of what Mr. O’Donnell has achieved since becoming headteacher with the full backing of all the staff and governors. He has made a real difference to the school in a short time and I know children and their families appreciate this new improved approach. We are pleased that the Local Authority was judged by the Inspector to have provided ‘very good’ support for the school during this challenging period.”