One of the town’s main schools was described by Ofsted as ‘inadequate’ after an inspection.
In a report published on Tuesday DSLV was graded as ‘requires improvement’ in five categories, with the final one – pupils’ achievement – being judged as ‘inadequate’.
Overall the school was found to be ‘inadequate’, a grade lower than the ‘requires improvement’ it received at its last inspection in 2013.
DSLV on the town’s Southbrook estate provides education from nursery to sixth form level for 1,305 children and teenagers, and is an academy sponsored by E-ACT.
The inspectors’ report states: “For the past two years many Year 11 students have significantly underachieved. In 2014, students made slow progress across many subjects including mathematics, history, geography and modern foreign languages.”
They highlight the proportion of students gaining five or more A*-C grades at GCSE was ‘well below average’.
Regarding Year Six students, the report says: Too many Year 6 pupils made slow progress in reading and pupils were, on average, just over a year behind others nationally. In mathematics, pupils were two terms behind others nationally. However, achievement in writing was good and, on average, was close to others nationally.”
The report highlights that improvements have started to be made in teaching, but it is not as good as it needs to be, that pupils are not always given work suitable to their abilities leaving children unable to show their higher-level skills. The report says the children are safe, and feel safe at the school, but that behaviour in some classrooms needs improvement, saying that in some cases the students lose focus because the work is not challenging enough.
The ‘inadequate’ grade means Ofsted found serious weaknesses and the school requires significant improvement but that the school’s staff and governors are capable of turning it around. The school will now receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A spokesman for E-ACT said: “While the overall outcome of the Ofsted report is disappointing, we are pleased that inspectors recognised the progress being made in many areas at DSLV.
“Since the Ofsted inspection, Key Stage 2 SATs outcomes have been released, which show 80 per cent in combined reading, writing, and mathematics levels. This is 14 percentage points above last year’s outcomes achieved at the academy and is a huge achievement.
“We know, however, that more work needs to be done to make sure all pupils achieve their best.
“Simon Cotton, who will begin as principal in September, has a very clear plan for taking the academy forward. He is eager to build on the good work of the senior leadership team, which was recognised in the Ofsted report.
“E-ACT will continue to fully support Simon and DSLV as the academy works to become a school of choice in the Daventry community.”