Academy tells of concern after Ofsted inspection

Caistor Yarborough Academy, which one year ago, in an interim report, was rated as good with outstanding features, has been given a notice to improve.

The academy is unhappy with the way its Ofsted inspection was carried out in January, disputing the conclusions of inspectors and filing 49 separate concerns.

The inspection was carried out in the first few weeks of a new and very different framework.

Headteacher Jeremy Newnham said: ‘There are always areas for improvement in a school and we have drawn up an action plan following the inspection.

“However, the main concern is that the category regarding the behaviour and safety of students has been rated as inadequate: 98 per cent of parents said in the questionnaire that they felt their child was safe at school.”

During the two-day inspection, inspectors visited more than 30 lessons and, says the school, there was no evidence of poor behaviour.

“We do not close our doors to any students,” continued Mr Newnham. “Some are challenging, but they are dealt with in a positive way.

“We run regular open mornings and the response from visitors is always positive about the academy, the teachers and the attitude of our students.”

However, the academy also received praise in the report.

The report said students ‘enjoy school and, along with their parents and carers, say it is a safe place’ and it also praised the headteacher for successfully managing the elimination of a deficit budget and introducing robust quality assurance processes.

During the visit, 52 per cent of lessons were good or outstanding and there was no inadequate teaching.

Chairman of governors Tony Maund said: “We feel very strongly that the inspectors did not reflect in this report the many aspects of our school which enrich the lives and education of our students.

“Many students enter the academy below average attainment because of selection; we add real value and students leave having achieved at least, and in many cases above, average attainment.”

Parents have been supportive of the academy.

The Rev Andrew Lomax said: “I would like to offer my support and encouragement to Mr Newnham and all the staff at Caistor Yarborough Academy, knowing the difficulties and pressure such disappointment can cause.

“We are happy that the school is the right place for our child, as she is both happy and succeeding in her studies.

“We feel that she is encouraged and well supported by her teachers.

“I am sure that whatever lies ahead in the coming months, Mr Newnham and all the leadership team will rise to the challenge of making any necessary improvements.”