Poor achievements, poor teaching, poor behaviour

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A team of Ofsted inspectors have given a damning report into the running of Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School resulting in the school being put into special measures.

In the report, lead inspector James McGrath said students are making inadequate progress in English, mathematics, science and geography by the end of Key Stage Four. Boys, those supported by pupil premium funding and the most able students are underachieving particularly in these subjects.

“The work set for the most able students continues to lack challenge and this holds back their achievement. As a result too few students reach the highest GCSE grades in many subjects and hence they underachieve.

Commenting on the quality of teaching, the report stated: “Inadequate teaching over time in too many subjects has led to students underachieving. In particular, boys, the most able students and those supported by the pupil premium funding have also consistently underachieved due to the weak teaching they receive.”

Mr McGrath said the behaviour of pupils was inadequate and that the level of pupil attendance was below average.

He also added: “Over time, leaders, managers and governors have been ineffective in ensuring that the quality of teaching is good enough to prevent many students underachieving. Actions have not improved attendance rapidly enough, especially for those vulnerable students who are falling behind in their learning.”

There were some positives to come from the inspection stating the new head teacher has a clear understanding of the strengths and how to tackle the school’s weaknesses.

Anthony Smith, executive head teacher, had stepped down from his position, due to ill health. with Helen Morgan taking over the lead role at the school.

She said: “After a period of substantial illness Anthony Smith, our executive head, has decided not to return to school. The governors, staff and children recognise the contribution he made and would like to thank him for his hard work.”

The Ofsted report said external reviews of governance and of the school’s use of the pupil premium should be undertaken in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and management may be improved.

Ofsted will make recommendations on governance to Calderdale Council.