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Boteler High School labelled inadequate

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WARRINGTON’S only Church of England high school – Sir Thomas Boteler at Latchford – has been labelled “inadequate” by Ofsted inspectors.
A shock report, following an inspection of the school in September, says the school requires special measures and that achievement is inadequate for all groups of students.
Leaders and governors have had, until recently, an overgenerous view of how well the school is performing, the inspectors say.
“As a result, they have not tackled weaknesses robustly or quickly enough over time.
“Since the last inspection, they have been ineffective in bringing about improvements in teaching and achievement. Consequently, students’ achievement has declined.”
At the time of the last inspection, the school was stated to “require improvement.”
However Ofsted note that headteacher Beverley Scott-Herron only took over in September and say school leadership is now highly effective.
Their report states: “The new headteacher has quickly established a realistic view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses, and shows a determination to improve.
“She has already begun to make changes to the senior and middle leadership in order to drive improvement more quickly.”
Inspectors also acknowledge that students feel safe in school and treat each other with courtesy and respect.
The governors now have a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development.
Governors say they are confident they are making progress.
They say staff, pupils, governors, the borough council and the diocese are working together to bring about positive change.
Mrs Scott-Herron said: “We accept the Ofsted report and we know we
have got a lot of work to do but we have committed staff, governors and council support to ensure that further progress will be made.
“I have made a number of new appointments at leadership level to help to bring about improvements and have been welcoming of external support. Plans are in place to raise expectations of what students can achieve by setting them more challenging targets and we are confident we can
drive up standards at school and support all our pupils.”
Chairman of governors Stuart Titchard said: “As governors we recognise the dedication and commitment needed to secure rapid improvement. We have a clear action plan in place and we are determined to secure improvement and promote the best opportunities for all our pupils. We have a committed and dedicated leadership team, staff, governors and local authority support to ensure that further progress will be made.”
Steve Reddy, director for families and well-being at the borough council said: “We will be monitoring the school’s progress closely and are offering a intensive package of support, which includes providing a National Leader in Education and subject Specialist Leaders in Education to work alongside the school, to help them achieve their aims and ensure that they make rapid and sustained progress.”
Ofsted say the school must take urgent steps to improve the quality of teaching so that it is at least good in all subjects, particularly in English and mathematics.
Students attendance must be improved to be at least in line with the national average.
The effectiveness of leaders and managers at all levels, including governors, must be improved.
An external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium should be undertaken in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and management may be improved.
Students’ poor literacy skills are a significant barrier to their overall achievement, the inspectors add.

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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