Post Ofsted Local Authority Visit
On 13thJuly, 2016 the Local Authority conducted an inspection visit to monitor the implementation of the post-Ofsted action plan and the impact the plan had made to address urgent concerns raised by Ofsted. The team, with Michael May as lead, were fully satisfied that the Trust were embedding systems and procedures to ensure that the school is able to make sustained improvement.
The Trust team, working alongside senior leaders from Driffield School and 6th Form, have reviewed key areas highlighted in by Ofsted and findings of the due diligence review. These reviews have been presented to senior leaders at the school, with recommended actions, to ensure that there is shared responsibility for actions and their implementation. These reviews have been further scrutinised by a newly instated governing body sub-group to ensure that governors are fully informed of developments and progress made against the post-Ofsted action plan.
Phase 1 of the post-Ofsted action plan was developed to rectify specific issues linked to student safety and safeguarding identified as requiring urgent action by Ofsted. This meant taking immediate actions to improve student safety on site, including traffic management and ensuring that student behaviour throughout the school day was conducive to learning and none-threatening throughout the day. In order to do this the Trust has embedded a range of strategies including the introduction of senior team and geographical zoning (to increase staff presence throughout the day), re-directing student movement during the school day to create a purposeful, organised method of moving during lesson changeover and restricting traffic movement on site.
The Local Authority RVA visit on 13th July 2016, confirmed that the measures taken by the Trust meant that students were safe on site. A team of 4 associates from the Local Authority, observed students entering the site and during lesson changeover as well as speaking to a group of students during student voice activity. The team noted that students appreciated the increased staff presence and that they felt that the school and the site was safe. The team also noted that behaviour in lessons and on site had improved and that they noted that student perceptions of behaviour and use of sanctions by staff had made a positive impact.
Safeguarding and Child Protection
During the visit the team interviewed the Assistant Headteacher accountable for safeguarding. They were satisfied that all areas identified in the safeguarding review had been actioned and that the single record of mandatory training was being managed efficiently. The team also interviewed teaching staff regarding protocol/procedures if a child protection disclosure was made and they are now fully satisfied that protocol is in place, shared and embedded into practice (an area previously highlighted as an area of concern).
Accountabilities of Middle Leaders
The team interviewed 2 middle leaders and the Assistant Headteacher accountable for middle leadership development. The LA noted the standardisation of lesson observation and work scrutiny practices and that training was valued in these areas.
The team interviewed the Trust Deputy and Senior House Leader (Associate Senior Team) regarding the practices of the house team, behaviour throughout the school day and systems for behaviour management. The team noted that during learning walks, student behaviour in class was good and that during lesson changeover and break high staff presence had made a significant impact on student behaviour. Students, during the student voice session, stated that behaviour had improved and that they appreciated staff zoning during lesson time.
The team spoke to students during a student voice activity, specifically questioning students on their perceptions of safety on site as this had previously been identified in both LA visits and Ofsted as an area of concern. Students reported that behaviour at break and lunchtime had improved and that there were no longer ‘no go’ areas on site.
The Local Authority are satisfied that areas identified as requiring urgent action by Ofsted have been addressed and that The Education Alliance is monitoring and embedding practices, in line with the post-Ofsted action plan, which will enable the school to improve. The Trust team has focused significant efforts on improving site safety and student behaviour, both in and out of lessons and by reviewing key areas of the school practices, procedures and systems so that in September 2016 the team can focus on teaching and learning practices to ensure that all lessons are at least good. As the plan moves forward there will be an increased focus on teaching and learning and classroom practices, with an increase in work scrutiny and learning walks focusing on high standards and consistency across the school.