School ‘inadequate’ in first inspection

Thomas Middlecott school, Kirton. EMN-170412-111826001
Thomas Middlecott school, Kirton. EMN-170412-111826001

A Kirton school has been graded as ‘inadequate’ in its first inspection since it opened under a new Trust.

The Thomas Middlecott Academy converted to academy status as part of the David Ross Education Trust in 2015 and has since had several principals in post at different times.

Officers visited the school for the first time since that change in September, but have said it is ‘inadequate’ overall, with the same rating in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and outcomes for pupils, and one of ‘requires’ improvement for effective leadership and management and personal development, behaviour and welfare.

The report states that pupils ‘underachieve in a range of subjects’ while ‘considerable instability in senior leadership has meant that work to drive improvement has lacked direction and been too slow’.

It criticises the leaders failure to evaluate the impact of aspects of the school’s work, and says DRET has been ‘too slow to take action in support of leaders’

It says poor teaching ‘over time’ has led to pupils’ inadequate outcomes, and that teachers ‘do not routinely plan activities which interest or motivate pupils’.

Teachers, it adds, ‘do not have consistently high expectations of what pupils are able to achieve’.

However, it acknowledges that the latest principal Jonathan Harris, who began in October 2016 ‘has brought much-needed stability’.

It adds that he has ‘created a clear vision and ethos for the school’ and says leaders are taking effective action to improve the quality of teaching’

It concedes there are ‘pockets’ of stronger teaching practice where teachers meet the needs of pupils.

It says pupils behavour ‘has improved considerably’ and says leaders and staff ensure pupils are well-supported’.

A spokesperson for the David Ross Education Trust, said: “We note Ofsted’s recommendations, which are being systematically addressed at Thomas Middlecott Academy.

“There is a clear plan of action in place and the school’s senior leadership team is working closely with the Trust to deliver rapid improvements.”