Action plan in place at struggling school

An action plan has been put in place at New Mills School Business and Enterprise College after it was placed in special measures by Ofsted.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 7th March 2014, 1:00 pm
New Mills School
New Mills School

Inspectors visited the Church Lane school in January and found there was consistently higher than average attendance and a low exclusion rate.

But they placed the school in special measures to improve achievement, raise expectations of what students can achieve and strengthen planning and evaluation systems.

Headteacher Jesse Elms said: “We’re obviously disappointed to be in special measures but we’re confident issues highlighted in the report can be rapidly put right so all our pupils get the best possible education.

“We’ve already done a lot of work which is beginning to take effect and building on our strengths so we provide a first-rate learning experience across the board.”

Staff and governors at the school are already working with Derbyshire County Council (DCC) to raise standards. And plans are being put into action to tackle areas outlined for improvement in the report, including:

• Making sure teaching is consistently good or better to increase pupils’ progress

• Putting more detailed information in students’ progress and performance monitoring reports so trends can be analysed over time

• Reviewing the use of pupil premium funding to raise the achievement of students who are entitled to receive it.

Chair of Governors Maggie Cole added: “We have a clear understanding of what needs to be done to make the improvements we want and are focused on ensuring changes happen swiftly and effectively.

“We’ve looked closely at the points raised by the report and will do everything necessary to do everything that the recommendations ask to start driving up standards.”

During their visit, inspectors found many positives at the school including:

• The school helps its 574 pupils, aged 11 to 18, to develop their social, moral and cultural development

• Governors are already starting to offer greater challenge to the school’s leaders to help it perform at its best

• Sixth form students achieve better outcomes than the rest of the school and are positive models.

Cllr Jim Coyle, DCC Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Our education advisors are going to continue to work closely with the school’s leadership team and governors to support their work in following the report’s recommendations to give students the best possible learning environment.”