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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Stockton school swift to act after critical Ofsted report

Thursday, May 01, 2014

A Stockton secondary school is already taking steps to bring about rapid improvement after being placed in Special Measures by Ofsted today (May 1).

Ian Ramsey Church of England School is working on an urgent action plan with Stockton Council and the Diocese of Durham to address the concerns raised in the report.

As part of the plan, Ian Ramsey will receive immediate additional support from the Venerable Bede Church of England Academy, a high-performing school within the Diocese.

Head teacher, Janet Wilson, said: “Naturally, we are very disappointed with the outcome of the inspection and I realise that this judgement will come as a big shock to our parents.

“I want to reassure them that we are taking the issues raised in the report very seriously. Along with our governors, the local authority and Diocese, we are doing everything possible to address the issues raised by the inspection.

“We had already identified some of these issues and begun to tackle them prior to the inspection and we are determined to make rapid improvement with support from our partners.

“We are getting ready to move into superb new facilities in September and are absolutely determined to provide educational standards to match. We are united by our ambition to help every one of our pupils fulfil their potential.”

Last year, 61 per cent of pupils at the school achieved five A* to C grades including English and Maths, which is above the national average.

However, the report identifies that students are not progressing as they should through the school and this clearly needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Ann McCoy, said: “Both the Council and the Church of England Diocese are providing strong support to the school and believe they have a solid foundation on which to build.

“Though the performance of the school’s pupils at GCSE is better than the national average there are some issues with the progress pupils make during their time at the school and steps are being taken to resolve this as soon as possible.

“The inspection report also noted that there is effective practice where teachers skilfully question and challenge students to provide fuller explanations, but that this needs to be more consistent.

“Steps are being taken to resolve these issues as soon as possible.”

Despite the overall judgement, the Ofsted inspectors identified a number of strengths at the school, including “students’ spiritual, social and cultural development.”

Their report also said: “The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is good.” Behaviour around the school was described as “invariably good natured.”

The Diocese of Durham is actively exploring Academy options for the school with a view to ensuring that improvements are fast-tracked and securely embedded.

Discussions with the Department for Education are in progress, and parents will be consulted about this as soon as more information is available. 

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