Sidmouth College Ofsted: inadequate verdict

PUBLISHED: 16:05 01 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:47 17 June 2010

Ofsted inspectors have rated Sidmouth College 'inadequate' in its overall effectiveness in their latest report. They have called for 'significant improvement' and have issued a formal Notice to Improve because the school is performing much less well than

Ofsted inspectors have rated Sidmouth College 'inadequate' in its overall effectiveness in their latest report.They have called for 'significant improvement' and have issued a formal Notice to Improve because the school is performing much less well than expected.But outgoing headteacher David Birch has predicted this year's GCSE results will be the best ever.The inspectors' report said the school needed to improve its systems for leadership and management, particularly with regard to monitoring teaching and learning.Mr Birch, who leaves next month after 12 years as head, wrote to parents on Tuesday expressing his 'disappointment'.A two-day inspection was held in May. The college has been given a year to improve before another inspection is held. Inspections are normally held every three to four years.Inspector Adrian Lyons stated while Sidmouth College provided: "an acceptable standard of education and that personal development of students is good, its overall effectiveness is inadequate."This is because the leadership has not moved the college on well enough since the last inspection (in 2005)."While harsh, the report acknowledges the college has real strengths. Mr Lyons said: "These strengths, together with recent improvements, led inspectors to conclude that, despite being given notice to improve, value for money is satisfactory."Good relationships between teachers and students create a calm and productive atmosphere for learning."In a letter to students, inspectors said: "Your college is improving. The curriculum is improving."However, they found a high level of dissatisfaction among parents who returned confidential questionnaires.One wrote: "There is very little pride encouraged in students' work." Another said: "There is a lack of expectation on the part of teachers."A third commented: "A brilliant school! Excellent headteacher and staff."Mr Birch told parents: "We are confident that, with greater rigour in monitoring progress and more emphasis on raising aspirations, the college will make rapid progress."He has spoken with incoming head Jeremy Roberts to form an action plan to address weaknesses."The inspectors recognised our capacity to improve, noting that we have already put in place systems to address concerns they identified."But we need to work further on these to ensure they have a greater impact on students' achievement."Sylvia Martin, chair of governors, said: "The fact the report found some of our systems for assessment and monitoring and evaluation need to be strengthened does not make this a bad school.


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