Nottingham schools make a comeback

Council House Summer

The schools being turned around after “Inadequate” judgements last year are “making a strong recovery”, education bosses say.

Last December seven City schools and academies were judged to be failing their pupils by the Government education watchdog Ofsted. The schools rapidly drew up improvement plans to tackle the problems identified.

One year on and Ofsted has endorsed the progress being made in schools to get back on track.

Making strides in behaviour and attendance

Two of the first improvements are better pupil behaviour and attendance. Twelve months ago all of the schools had attendance rates well below the national average. Today the figures have improved by up to 4% and are now more in line with attendance rates nationally.

Pupil behaviour has also improved with more students demonstrating a good attitude to learning. Educations bosses put the improvements down to the consistent enforcement of attendance and behaviour policies.

Cllr Sam Webster, Executive Assistant for Schools at the City Council, said: “The improvements in school attendance are really quite remarkable. It is incredibly challenging to turn around poor attitudes to learning, to ensure more pupils are consistently at school and working hard.

“School leaders have to be congratulated for embracing new policies and approaches. They have consistently taken a zero tolerance stance to unauthorised school absence and poor behaviour such as swearing, wearing trainers and using mobile phones. Pupils are genuinely welcoming the difference this enforcement is making to their school environments. The vast majority of young people don’t want their lessons to be interrupted by disorderly peers.”

Still a long way to go

Some schools have been making excellent improvements in GCSE attainment, particularly in English. But the progress is not yet happening consistently enough as the schools’ exam results are still significantly below the national average.

Improved exam results rely heavily on better quality teaching. Ofsted have recognised that many schools have now recruited more experienced senior subject leaders. Lesson planning has been described by Ofsted as “meticulous” in some schools, teachers are setting stretching targets, expecting more from their pupils and providing better quality feedback to students though their marking. Ofsted are satisfied that interventions such as these are increasing the proportion of students making the progress expected of them.

Cllr Webster said: “There’s no denying that GCSE results still have a long way to go. But, like Ofsted, we are encouraged by the prospect that improved attendance, behaviour and quality of teaching should translate into better GCSE results next summer.

“Our goal is for every Nottingham City child to be taught in a school judged to be good or better by Ofsted. We are not there yet, but schools are making a strong recovery, and ultimately a lot of Nottingham pupils are now getting a far better deal than they were 12 months ago.”

Secondary schools showing improvement

Please click on the links below to see improvements in individual secondary schools

Big Wood

Bluecoat Beechdale Academy

Bulwell Academy

Djanogly City Academy

Ellis Guilford School

Farnborough Academy

Nottingham University Samworth Academy

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