ST Joseph’s Catholic College are bracing themselves for the next round of inspections as they strive to pull themselves out of special measures.
The next inspection is anticipated to be this month, judging by the frequency of previous inspections.
The most recent visit from the inspectorate came on November 12, just two months after the report was published condemning the school to the worst status given by Ofsted.
The schools watchdog are duty bound to keep a watchful eye on the secondary school to ensure it is fit for purpose for the next few years, and will conduct regular inspections until they are satisfied.
While school leaders are determined not to become complacent, recent reports have shown they are on the right track, after the school posted its best ever set of exam results, placing it in the top three schools in the town for attainment.
Writing after their visit in November, inspectors said: “You have made a good start to bring about the improvements needed in order to begin the journey of removing special measures.
“Members of the governing body fully accept their responsibility for the declining standards, prior to the inspection.
“As a result they are resolute in ensuring current improvements continue and accelerate further. The academy’s improvement plan is fit for purpose. “However, there is a need to ensure that some milestones have more measurable outcomes to ensure the academy is on track to meet its targets.”
Canon John Cunningham of Holy Rood Church has been in post as the chair of governors of St Joseph’s Catholic College since January 1 after the resignation of his predecessor, Stephen Lake.
Just over a month into his tenure he is reflecting on the progress made so far and on the steps being taken by the college to work closely with Ofsted to move the school out of special measures.
Fundamental changes to the governing body have taken place after they came in for criticism last year.
“We are monitoring outcomes a lot more closely and with the introduction of monthly meetings by the newly formed executive board we have a much more proactive governing body,” said Canon Cunningham.
“The focus is very much on teaching, learning and our own governance, and by identifying and addressing any training needs we are ensuring that we have the strength required on the panel of governors.”
Paul Hughes, principal of St Joseph’s, said: “There is a lot of work to do in preparation for our Ofsted monitoring visits. “Our excellent results in recent performance tables indicate that we are very much on the right track.”