“Inadequate” Ofsted rating for Morecambe High School

Morecambe Community High School
Morecambe Community High School

Morecambe High School has been labelled “inadequate” by Ofsted inspectors.

An inspection carried out last month found that the school required improvement in its effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and 16 to 19 study programmes.

Vicki Michael.

Vicki Michael.

It was also seen to be inadequate in its outcomes for pupils.

Inspectors found that over time, pupils’ progress and attainment across a wide range of subjects, including English, mathematics and science, have not been good enough.

In 2017 pupils’ progress was too slow and it is too slow for many current pupils. Outcomes for disadvantaged and most-able pupils are inadequate.

Governors have not ensured that additional funding is used effectively to improve the achievement of disadvantaged pupils or to boost Year 7 pupils’ basic skills.

The quality of teaching is too variable, including in the sixth form. Some teachers’ expectations of what pupils can do are too low.

Teachers’ assessments of pupils’ attainment are not always accurate. This has led to leaders and governors failing to target support where it is most needed.

However, inspectors highlighted the school’s strengths in working to safeguard pupils and actions taken to improve behaviour have also been effective.

Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are well cared for.

Actions taken over the past year to improve the quality of teaching, and recent changes to the key stage 3 curriculum, are beginning to have a positive impact.

Carnforth High head Vicki Michael took over at Morecambe in January on an interim basis, vowing to turn the school around within the next 18 months.

Just two days into her tenure, Ofsted inspectors arrived at the Dallam Avenue school.

The school’s last full Ofsted two years ago saw a “requiring improvement” result.

And, in the light of the new Ofsted, Mrs Michael has said the team is “fully committed” to improving the school and providing the best education for pupils.

She said: “Although we are disappointed with our latest Ofsted report, we accept the issues raised by the inspector’s findings and, with the support of the local authority, are developing a wide-ranging improvement plan to address the matters that have been identified.

“As the inspectors recognised, the school has experienced a difficult period of late. This situation has now settled and improved, including my recent appointment as the new headteacher.

“The leadership team and governors have an accurate view of the school’s current position, and we are committed to improving the direction and management of the school even further and we have put focused plans in place to ensure that this happens. We are also working hard to make sure that staffing is consistent.

“We are already working with the county council’s advisers to develop a long-term improvement action plan with clear timescales. This will help us to ensure that we raise attainment, through increased monitoring of both teaching and students’ work.

“The report did contain some praise including the good behaviour of pupils, and that school leaders’ work to safeguard pupils is effective resulting in pupils feeling safe in school. Actions taken over the past year to improve the quality of teaching, and recent changes to the Key Stage 3 curriculum, are already having a positive effect.

“It was particularly satisfying to know that the inspectors recognised that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are well cared for, and that they progress well from their individual starting points.

“We are determined that progress will be made quickly so that improvements can happen both effectively and quickly, on those areas where we can do better. These include developing leadership across the school and raising attainment, by improving the consistency of both teaching and students’ work.

“We will work closely with the county council to improve, and to meet the challenge.

“Parents are being kept fully informed and I’d like to reassure them that we are fully committed to providing the best education we can for our pupils.”