Shirebrook Academy principal 'disappointed' with 'requires improvement' Ofsted result

Shirebrook Academy's principal Mark Cottingham has spoken of his disappointment with the school's latest OFSTED results.

The education watchdog judged the school to require improvement, based on an inspection in March.

Shirebrook Academy's principal Mark Cottingham

Shirebrook Academy's principal Mark Cottingham

The report stated that the pupils’ progress at the school is inconsistent, and that the progress of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and of boys has not been good enough.

However, the report also praised the school for their pupil's attendance, and their positive attitudes to learning.

Mark Cottingham, principal of Shirebrook Academy said he accepts there are areas to work on, and called the judgement 'frustrating'.

He highlighted the hard work of staff and pupils to raise exam results, which saw 58 per cent of students receiving Grade four or over in both english and maths in 2018.

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Mr Cottingham said: “We are disappointed with the result of this Ofsted inspection, not because the commentary is unfair or the areas for improvement are not valid but because of the grading criteria which OFSTED themselves realise is not fit for purpose and which, as a result, will become obsolete in just a matter of months.

“We accept that, in common with most schools, there are areas that we need to work on; we recognise this in our own self-evaluation document which mirrors the comments made by OFSTED.

"Working with our trust partners ACET we already have detailed plans in place to address these areas for improvement.

“We recognise that exam results are extremely important and whilst we need to accelerate the rate of progress, our outcomes have improved significantly every year since 2015 so that in 2018 first entry results were the best the school has ever achieved.

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"However, the new Ofsted framework, to be introduced in September, moves towards a ratings system which places more emphasis on a students’ overall educational experience.

“That reflects the work that we undertake at Shirebrook Academy, where we invest time and money in a curriculum that broadens our students’ view of the world, gives them opportunities to raise their aspirations and prepares them for the world of work and further study.

“Had we been inspected after September under the new criteria I have no doubt that, whilst the areas for improvement would still be there, we would have been given a more positive overall grade.

"That’s what makes this judgement particularly frustrating for the staff, students and parents of this community who all work hard to provide students with the kind of education that in September will become the very cornerstone of what Ofsted considers a good school.”