Principal vows to transform Mansfield secondary school ordered to improve

A Mansfield headteacher believes her school is on the right track - despite being told it must get better by inspectors.

Education watchdog Ofsted has rated The Samworth Church Academy as requires improvement following a two-day visit by inspectors.

The Samworth Church Academy.

The Samworth Church Academy.

They found behaviour and attitudes, personal development and sixth-form provision are good, but leadership and management and quality of education need to be better - leading to the requires improvement rating.

Lisa McVeigh, principal of the Sherwood Hall Road school, said: "“It is my belief that we are already on the right track with regard to improving the quality of education and, although there is always more work to do, we are already beginning to see the positive impact of changes made in recent months.

“We are absolutely focused and committed to working hard on the issues identified by our own staff, as well as by Ofsted, and always in line with the original values and ethos that

make this academy so unique.”

Lisa McVeigh, The Samworth Church Academy principal.

Lisa McVeigh, The Samworth Church Academy principal.

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Inspectors found leaders at the Church of England academy, which has 1,119 pupils, aged 11-19, on roll, "did not have a clear plan for the curriculum from Year 8 onwards" and that the "curriculum is not coherently planned".

In their newly published report, they said: "Teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are too low. Pupils do not achieve as well as they should."

"Leaders have not made sure reading has improved across the school. Current approaches to developing reading are ineffective and do not encourage pupils to read for pleasure. Many pupils spoken to during the inspection do not enjoy reading."

However, pupils were praised for their behaviour.

The report said: "Staff take pride in pupils’ achievements. Pupils’ work and successes are prominently displayed throughout the building.

"Pupils’ behaviour around the school is good. They are polite and considerate. Most pupils are respectful. Their attitudes to learning are mostly positive. This means pupils can usually get on with their work. A small number of pupils misbehave at times, but teachers deal with poor behaviour quickly."

Described as an inclusive environment, the report said "differences are recognised and celebrated", and that every child, including those with additional needs are given the same

opportunities.

Mrs McVeigh said, she was grateful inspectors saw that there are many features that make the academy a supportive environment for students.

She said: “We care passionately about the educational experiences our students receive and we know that through recent changes we are on the right path to succeed.

"As always, we will be working relentlessly to continuously improve our students’ experience and outcomes in the very broadest sense.”

The school was last inspected in May 2018, when it was found to be a good school, but some "priorities for improvement" were identified which the school was urged to address.

To read the latest report, click here
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