Quality of teaching at good Peak District school ‘inconsistent’, says Ofsted

Education
Education

A Peak District school has maintained its ‘good’ standards following an inspection by Ofsted.

Lady Manners School in Bakewell was visited by the education watchdog, which found that while the school had maintained the second highest grading there were some areas for improvement.

Inspector Paul Heery said: “School leaders do not have an accurate picture of provision in the school; their evaluation of teaching is too generous, and is not based on rigorous collection of evidence.
“Although the school improvement plan accurately identifies the main priorities for improvement, actions lack detail and success criteria are vague.”

The report noted an ‘inconsistency’ in the quality of teaching and ‘low levels of challenge in too many lessons’, which it said hampered the ability of disadvantaged pupils to make good progress.

Mr Heery said: “Pupils enter the school with levels of attainment that are considerably higher than the national average. Although attainment remains above the national average by the end of Year 11, pupils’ progress is slower than that seen nationally.”

The school, however, was praised for developing some areas of strong and effective practice, including the quality of provision in the sixth form and in extra-curricular activities.

Headteacher Duncan Meikle commented: “We are pleased with the outcome, this could not have been achieved without the support and commitment of students, staff, governors, parents and carers.

“There are improvement points too. These will be emphasised even more within our school improvement planning as we move forward.

“We continue to strive to attain the very best opportunities for all of our students.”

The report said a strategic approach to improving the school was needed, with clear and ambitious targets; also to ensure the use of the pupil premium funding is accurately and systematically evaluated; and to monitor the quality of teaching and ensure disadvantaged pupils attend regularly.