Daventry school 'requires improvement' says Ofsted

The Randolph Building at the Parker E-ACT Academy
The Randolph Building at the Parker E-ACT Academy

A Daventry secondary school has failed to improve on its previous Ofsted score after being rated 'requires improvement' across all categories in its latest inspection.

The achievement of pupils at the Parker E-ACT Academy school was deemed inconsistent and strong enough progress was not being made across all subjects.

Inspectors found disadvantaged students at the Ashby Road, or those who have SEN and/or disabilities, do not attend as well as others and that a greater proportion of these pupils are excluded.

"Fixed-term exclusions from school, although reducing, remain high," states the report.

"The proportion of pupils who are excluded from school is above the national average.

"Disadvantaged pupils and pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities are more likely to be excluded than other pupils in the school."

It also found leaders had not used additional funding suitably to accelerate the progress of disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs.

Despite the inconsistent progress of pupils, in 2017 they were above the national average in English, modern foreign languages and humanities.

Strengths highlighted by Ofsted include the improving behaviour of pupils, the high quality of safeguarding at the school, the well-met requirements of the 16-19 programmes of study and the fact leaders have "ensured that pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted well throughout the school".

Inspectors criticised the school for not successfully resolving all the areas for improvement identified in the 2015 inspection, and that recently appointed leaders have not yet had enough time to bring about sustained improvements.

They found teachers' expectations were not routinely high enough for the quality of pupils' work and its presentation, with the quality of teaching varying across the school.

In sixth form, for example, students "do not make consistently strong progress because the quality of teaching is too variable".

Good teaching practice was not effectively shared by staff, who do not "consistently use the information about pupils’ needs to plan learning that engages and challenges all pupils to make progress and to develop the appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills".

Low-level disruption in some lessons was also found to be affecting how well pupils learn.

The full Ofsted report can be found here.