Ofsted inspectors tell ‘inadquate’ Dewsbury academy it must improve

St John Fisher Academy, Dewsbury
St John Fisher Academy, Dewsbury
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A voluntary academy inspected by Ofsted for the first time is inadequate, inspectors found following their visit last November.

But it has some strengths with action being taken by new headteacher Jim Taylor, inspector Mike Tull’s team found.

St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy, Oxford Road, Dewsbury, rated as “good” in its high school incarnation, is now an inadequate school with the effectiveness of leadership and management and 16 to 19 study programmes both requiring improvement.

The academy’s quality of teaching, learning and assessment, its personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils and its outcomes for pupils are all rated as inadequate, say inspectors.

It has weak teaching and pupils’ progress and behaviour is poor, with a significant minority of pupils being too regularly rude and disrespectful of each other and adults.

Attendance was unacceptably low, particularly among disadvantaged pupils.

But the report acknowledged strengths were being quickly developed to address the issues, with a more broad and balanced curriculum introduced, and more effective teaching and learning.

“The acting headteacher has quickly and accurately evaluated the school’s strengtths and weaknesses.

“He is holding staff more stringently to account,” it says.

The school says it has now set out a clear plan for rapid improvement.

The Blessed Peter Snow Trust board has taken immediate action, with the Academy Council overseeing the school replaced by a Trust Intervention Board of which members are experienced school Governors with specialist knowledge of school improvement.

Together, new headteacher and Trust Intervention Board will drive rapid and significant improvements in teaching and learning and outcomes for pupils, said the new chair of the Trust Board Edwin Kirkwood.

Mr Kirkwood said: “The outcome of the inspection was extremely disappointing but the issues are already being addressed by the new leadership team and the Trust is confident that the academy now has effective systems in place.”

Mr Taylor has made additional appointments to a reorganised leadership team, while recent changes to accountabilities and systems mentioned in the report are becoming embedded and are already having a positive impact, said the school’s statement.

Parents have been told the goal is to return the school to its previous rating of good as soon as possible.