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Lowestoft high school is making improvements

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 July 2015

Benjamin Britten high School headteacher  Andrew Hine.

Benjamin Britten high School headteacher Andrew Hine.

A Lowestoft high school is making “reasonable progress” towards coming out of special measures after appointing a new headteacher and governing body.

Benjamin Britten High School (BBHS) was graded as “inadequate” by education regulator Ofsted in four key areas last year.

At the time it was the third out of four high schools in Lowestoft to be placed in special measures – but Ormiston Denes and East Point academies have both improved since then, meaning BBHS is the only one still graded as inadequate.

However, in a monitoring inspection report which has been published, Ofsted associate inspector Paul Lawrence and additional inspectors Paul Macintyre and Caroline Dawes said the school’s prediction of a “marked improvement” in GCSE results this year is “likely to be secure”.

Attendance and behaviour have also been said to have markedly improved.

The Ofsted report said: “The school’s own data suggests that the achievement of year-11 students this year will be stronger than in the previous year.

“The enhanced programme of support and revision organised for these students, together with improved systems for moderating the assessment of students’ work, mean that these predictions are likely to be secure.”

Widespread changes have taken place at the school since the start of the year, with previous headteacher Andrew Hine leaving and Jim McAtear taking over.

An interim executive board (IEB) has also taken over the governance of the school.

Ofsted said in its report: “The interim executive headteacher has very quickly enhanced and accelerated the emerging sense of optimism among staff about the future of the school.

“He has clearly articulated a vision of high aspirations, and almost all staff identify with this vision. He has also immediately organised physical improvements to the environment of the school site.”

It adds: “The reorganisation of senior team responsibilities has created a leadership structure that allows a better focus on the school’s strategic priorities and provides clearer lines of accountability.

“The new performance management policy should contribute to the effective monitoring of the quality of teaching across the school.”

In a statement, Mr McAtear said: “On joining the school I have been struck by the standards of behaviour shown by the scholars and the stunning levels of commitment demonstrated by staff.

“They deserve enormous credit for the recognition Ofsted have given them. I cannot praise them highly enough.”

WHAT OFSTED SAID

■ The expert and experienced members of the IEB have brought very effective governance to the school. They have quickly identified clear priorities for bringing about rapid improvement.

■ The school now sets suitably ambitious targets for the performance of individual students in every subject. However, these targets have not had sufficient impact upon the expectations of all teachers about what students are capable of achieving in lessons.

■ The impact of teaching upon learning is not consistently good within subjects or across year groups and there is still too much ineffective teaching.

■ Current improvements in achievement are largely the result of more effective support and guidance, rather than a systematic improvement in the quality of teaching.

■ Attendance is improving and persistent absence is declining. Disadvantaged students are attending more regularly. However, rates of attendance are not yet in line with national averages


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