A SCHOOL has been rated satisfactory after its first year of teaching, with better grades but poor attendance.
The University Church of England Academy was formed from the old EPSSPA and Cheshire Oaks High School and began in September 2009.
Two Ofsted inspectors visited the academy, which has maths and sports specialisms, in early November.
They said the relocation ‘has been a major change’ for all staff, students and their parents and carers.
During 2010 attainment rose ‘significantly’ in comparison to the predecessor schools.
A higher proportion of pupils gained five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and mathematics and for the first time the results were above the national minimum standard. They exceeded the academy’s ambitious targets.
Students did not make as much progress in gaining five GCSEs at grades A*-G due to persistent absence by a few students and ‘a lack of focus’ on ensuring all students gained a pass on all courses.
The inspectors identified poor attendance as a priority for improvement.
A new curriculum has been introduced for Years 7 and 8 to improve learning and progress.
A reward system for good behaviour has improved the climate for learning in lessons.
Sixth-formers also gained better A-level results than in the predecessor schools.
But the inspectors say the proportion of students who are persistent absentees remains higher than for most schools and that while most students behave well, a small number have poor attitudes to work.
There are some signs behaviour is improving and the number of students excluded from the academy has dropped.
Where teaching is good, the energy and enthusiasm of teachers engages and focuses students.
Principal Kevin McDermott is said to provide strong leadership and a clear vision to raise attainment and aspirations.