One of Sheffield’s leading secondary schools has been told to improve by Ofsted inspectors.
King Edward VII School in Glossop Road, Broomhill, has been informed it is “not good” in a number of areas.
Achievement in English and mathematics has been “falling sharply” over the past two years, the quality of teaching “varies too much”, too often work given to students does not match their abilities and the quality of marking and feedback “varies in quality”.
The school is praised for its sixth form, teaching of foreign languages, improvement in its governance and the maturity and behaviour of students and their overall spiritual, moral, social and cultural behaviour.
But King Edward’s overall Ofsted rating has slipped from “good” to “requires improvement” as a result of being assessed over two days last month.
After criticising achievement in English and mathematics, inspectors say there are signs of improvement, especially for students of average ability.
Standards of teaching are also improving, but there is still some way to go.
“School leaders were slow to respond to the warning signs provided by the weak progress of middle ability students in 2011 and gaps in achievements between groups of students,” says the report. “This led to a further decline in 2012.
“The raft of measures introduced over the past 18 months to turn around this alarming position is now paying dividends. Close working with high-achieving schools, improved governance and the tracking of students’ progress are resulting in better teaching and improved achievement.”
However, inspectors say “there is no room for complacency. Leadership and management have not yet reached the position where they are good. This is because the quality of teaching is still too variable, some teachers are slow to rise to the challenge of higher expectations and some senior and subject leaders are more effective than others in making sure the work of all teachers is of high quality.”
The school says it is “very aware that the disappointing GCSE examination results in the summer of 2012 would be a limiting judgement on the grade the school could achieve regardless of strengths in many other areas. Students this summer are already on course for much better exam results and we are swiftly addressing areas for improvement.”
It also highlights areas such as the best-ever post-16 exam results and the behaviour of students.