Daventry school ‘making good progress’ in turnaround, say inspectors

DSLV's principal Simon Cotton
DSLV's principal Simon Cotton

A Daventry school is making good progress in turning itself around, said an education watchdog.

DSLV, on the Southbrook in Daventry, was judged ‘inadequate’ in 2015, but now Ofsted says the school is making good progress towards a better grade.

At its previous Ofsted inspection, problems highlighted at the school included low achievement and weak leadership and teaching.

It was placed in the category of serious weakness, meaning it has been subject to regular short-notice Ofsted inspections to track its progress.

In the school’s latest report the inspector said leadership is continuing to improve, most teaching is judged to be good quality, pupil progress has improved, and that overall behaviour is good.

The interim report particularly highlighted that pupils have made better progress and achieved well in reading, writing and mathematics at key stage 1, and writing and mathematics at key stage 2.

A key finding was that pupils’ progress at key stage four – doing GCSE and similar level courses – were now “well above the government’s expectations”.

Secondary schools are now judged by the government on how pupils progress, rather than just their final grades, in an attempt to uncover which schools have better teaching.

The figures looks at the student’s grades at the end of key stage four, and then compare them to the grades achieved by others across the country who were at the same progress level at the end of primary school.

Principal Simon Cotton, who took up the post in September 2015, told the Daventry Express: “We are pleased for the children that the decisions we have made have been judged to have been the right ones.

“It’s credit to the students’ determination to do well and to the teachers for their hard work.

“Fundamentally it demonstrates that with a clear vision and clear expectations, the school can improve.

“We should therefore be out of the serious weakness category sooner rather than later.”

This progress report is one of a series the school has received since being rated as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

Just six months after that rating, an interim Ofsted report judged the school to be “taking effective action towards the removal of serious weakness”.

The school is now encouraging parents and children to visit so they can see the changes at the school.

Katie Towers, senior vice-principal and head of primary, said: “Our best advertisement is our young people. We would encourage parents in our catchment, or currently in the process of searching for a school, to judge for themselves following a visit.”