A DAMNING report into the current state of St Luke’s School has been published by Ofsted, which has ruled the school to be requiring improvement across the board.
The school, which teaches children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, was last inspected in May 2011, when it was found to be a good school.
However, after a period of high staff turnover, including at senior leadership level, the school has not been able to sustain previous good outcomes, according to the report.
After the inspection on February 6 and 7, the report said: “Not enough students make good progress throughout the school because not enough teaching is good or better. Work is not always set at the right level of difficulty for students, and is too easy for some and too hard for others.
“There are too few opportunities for students to investigate and solve problems in mathematics, or to write at length in English and other subjects.
“Teachers and teaching assistants are sometimes too quick to provide help for students in lessons.
“Marking and the use of targets do not always show students how to improve their work and reach the higher levels.
“Behaviour requires improvement because sometimes students lose interest in learning and do not try hard enough.
“Leaders’ checks on the quality of teaching are not rigorous enough to ensure teaching is consistently good. “Over time, the governing body has not ensured that the school is held fully to account or checked carefully enough the use of additional funding to see if it is improving students’ achievement.”
Concerns around the number of qualified staff teaching and chaos at the school were raised by an anonymous member of staff last November.
Headteacher Jane Cordes had been signed off sick at the time and has since departed the school.
In her absence, an interim headteacher was appointed. Geoff Cherrill was praised in the report from the education watchdog.
In its list of strengths for the school, which has 67 pupils on its roll, the inspectors said: “The interim headteacher has quickly identified what requires improvement and is using this to improve teaching and students’ achievement.
“Students say that they ‘want to come to school now,’ and attendance is improving.
“Students can gain a wider range of qualifications, including at GCSE, matched to their levels of ability. “Students’ participation in a wide range of physical exercise is good.”
St Luke’s School did not respond to the Adver’s requests for a comment on the Ofsted inspection.