Still no good rating for Fleetwood High School despite inspectors noting ‘far-reaching’ improvement

Fleetwood High School headteacher Richard Barnes
Fleetwood High School headteacher Richard Barnes

There have been “far-reaching” and “many” improvements at Fleetwood High School, but inspectors still held back from giving it a ‘good’ rating.

Ofsted visited the Broadway school three years after rating it ‘requires improvement’ but, despite saying top teachers’ “determination and tenacity” had “underpinned the many improvements made since the last inspection”, the regulator criticised outcomes and resisted boosting its ranking.

A newly-released report said: “Despite the far-reaching improvements leaders have made to the school, pupils do not make the progress of which they are capable. Pupils, particularly boys and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, do not make good progress across the curriculum.

“The improvements made to middle leadership have had uneven impact. As a result, current pupils make weaker progress in some areas, such as mathematics and the humanities.”

Teachers outside of English don’t do enough to help pupils develop their writing and, despite “steady improvements” to attendance, the “proportion of pupils who are regularly absent remains too high”.

A ‘good’ rating was given in three out of four key areas – with pupils’ outcomes rated ‘requires improvement’. Despite Aspire Academy getting the same scores and being rated ‘good’ overall, Fleetwood was told it still ‘requires improvement’.

Behaviour is “markedly” improved, and disruption in classes is “increasingly rare”.

The quality of teaching has shot up, especially in science and English, and the curriculum is “broad and balanced”.

“Leaders ensure pupils experience a range of opportunities that enrich their understanding of different cultures,” the report added.

“Leaders are flexible in their approach to designing the curriculum to ensure it meets the needs of individuals and groups of pupils.

“Pupils are kept safe and are supported to develop a clear understanding of different risks. Governors have overseen the improvements made to the school capably.”

Headteacher Richard Barnes said he was “extremely pleased” to get three ‘good’ scores out of four, but said: “We also recognise that we still have a job to do ... to consolidate our successes and translate the good teaching, behaviour, pastoral care and leadership into further improved exam results. This is a challenge we feel confident in meeting, and I look forward to seeing our hard work come to fruition in the coming months.”