Flintshire High School placed into ‘special measures’ after Estyn finds leadership and teaching unsatisfactory
Holywell High School has been placed into special measures after the latest Estyn report published today graded the schools current performance as unsatisfactory with the schools prospects of improvement also unsatisfactory.
The Estyn report which followed a visit in January has criticised the of teaching and leadership within the school grading them unsatisfactory, while ‘important shortcomings’ were found in around half of lessons with teachers not using assessments effectively enough to support pupils’ learning.
The report also says some senior leaders within the school do not lead their teams well enough because they have too many responsibilities or do not have the necessary expertise and experience. In general, leaders’ understanding of how to use performance data to set targets and monitor performance is underdeveloped.
Area’s which contributed to the school being graded as unsatisfactory.
- Performance in many key indicators at key stage 4 over the last four years has been poor when compared to that of similar schools.
- In a majority of lessons, pupils make insufficient progress in their knowledge, skills and understanding.
- Too many pupils have weaknesses in their literacy and numeracy skills.
- Pupil exclusion rates very high.
- Attendance compared to similar schools is poor.
Most teachers have appropriate subject knowledge and get on well with the pupils in their classes Estyn say However, in many cases, teachers’ low expectations limit considerably the amount of progress that pupils are able to make in their knowledge, skills and understanding.
The report goes on to say:
‘Pupils are set tasks that are mundane and undemanding, such as copying and colouring in, which do not engage them successfully in their learning.
As a result, the pace of learning is too slow and pupils make limited progress and in around half of lessons, teachers do not monitor pupils’ progress closely enough.’
Prospects for improvement the inspectors say is poor because as senior and middle leaders have not demonstrated the capacity to secure improvements in important areas, such as standards and the quality of teaching.
Following the decision to place the school into special measures Flintshire County Council released a statement, it says:
‘Estyn (the education inspectorate in Wales) has today published their inspection report on Holywell High School following their visit to the school earlier this year. The outcome is that the school is in special measures as the school community continues its work to secure improvement.
Holywell High School’s recently appointed Head Teacher John Weir is now leading a newly revised leadership team. Mr Weir said that the staff and governors of the school accept the Estyn report, which comes during a period of great change, and recognise that its findings reflect their own priorities for continuing improvement.’
Mr Jim Mills, Chair of Governors, said:
“The report states that the ‘Head Teacher has a clear vision for improving teaching and standards in the school’ and we have every confidence that the significant improvements made to date will be continued into the future.”
Mr Weir said:
“We are already assured of significantly improved performances in key areas, which will be published in August. The staff, Governors and Local Authority are fully behind the school and its continuing commitment to rapid and sustainable excellence for the pupils of Holywell and its local community.
“Estyn recognised the strong support of parents and the local community who are working in partnership with the school, as it looks forward to moving to its 21st century learning environment. The facilities of the new school will enhance our determination to become a centre of excellence for learning in Wales.
“There are many things to celebrate about our school and I am very proud to be the Head Teacher taking the school forward to a bright future.”
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