A city high school has been described as having a ‘can do’ approach and capable of becoming ‘good’ or beyond.
The picture has been painted at Blacon High where HM Inspector Christina McIntosh recently undertook a monitoring visit after the school had been said by Ofsted to require improvement.
Her follow up letter to headteacher Mrs Susan Yates at the specialist sports college on Melbourne Road discloses the comment was made by an advisor appointed by the borough council’s children’s services who is helping the school to improve.
“The local authority representative has met with governors and, through his work with you and your team, he is confident this is a ‘can do’ school which listens, is committed to constant improvement and has the capacity to improve to ‘good’ and beyond,” says the inspector.
She has told Mrs Yates she believes that senior leaders and governors are taking ‘effective action’ to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the previous inspection.
She feels there is ‘a real desire and energy’ to continue to improve Blacon High and to raise the achievement and aspirations of all its pupils.
The school has already increased the level of help for pupils who are having difficulty with their work through measures which are known to be effective.
Students’ aspirations are raised through the school’s links with Chester University and by ensuring all pupils have an appropriate curriculum and study courses which are right for them.
The quality of teaching has improved and there is increased support for staff.
All teachers have been set clear targets regarding their responsibility for pupils’ progress, the quality of marking and feedback given to pupils and improving writing and reading skills.
As a result the quality of writing across the school has improved, the inspector believes.
Steps have been taken to motivate pupils in three year groups to attend school on time and although these have only recently been introduced their attendance and punctuality has improved.
The governing body, which has increased its membership and its range of experience and skills, is confident about the school’s prospects for improvement.
The inspector says Ofsted may make further visits up to the next full inspection.