'Significant areas of weakness remain' at Kirkby College after Ofsted monitoring visit

Kirkby College on Tennyson Street was placed in special measures by Ofsted in 2018, and a monitoring visit suggests the school’s improvement plan is ‘not fit for purpose’.

During the last full inspection of Kirkby College in January 2018, the school was rated ‘inadequate’ in all areas.

The results of a monitoring visit conducted by Ofsted in July of this year have now been published, which highlight that leaders and managers are still ‘not taking effective action towards the removal of special measures’.

Whilst it was acknowledged that some aspects of leaders’ plans to improve the school have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report suggests leaders ‘did not act quickly enough’ on some of the areas for improvement suggested in previous visits and a ‘culture of low expectations persists’ in some subjects.

Kirkby College on Tennyson Street. The school was rated 'inadequate' at their 2018 inspection.

Her Majesty’s Inspector Deirdre Duignan said: "Leaders have not maintained the pace of improvement noted in the first monitoring visit in July 2018.

“This is, in part, due to the impact of the pandemic, but there are other factors at play.

“Leaders did not act quickly enough on some of the areas for improvement identified in the section 5 inspection and in the first monitoring visit.

“These issues remain significant areas of weakness.”

Some positives were highlighted from the visit, namely that the curriculum in English has been redesigned and now includes opportunities for pupils to build on their prior learning.

The appointment of a new SENCo in March 2021 is also beginning to improve the provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Leaders have taken ‘positive steps’ to improve reading since the additional monitoring visit in February 2021, and staff morale is now increasing.

One member of staff said: “We are now all in it together.

"We know that attendance and safeguarding are everyone’s responsibility.”

The arrangements for safeguarding have also been deemed ‘effective’, and leaders have ‘improved this area of their work’ according to inspectors.

The report also states governors ‘have not done enough’ to ensure that leaders maintain a consistent pace of improvement since the last full inspection and that the school’s current improvement plan is not fit for purpose.

The full report can be found here.

The school have been approached for comment.

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