School rewarded with a better Ofsted rating

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A school has improved to a satisfactory level after being given a notice to improve.

The Latimer Arts College in Barton Seagrave was given a damning report by education watchdog Ofsted after an inspection in November 2010.

The report said the college was inadequate in its overall effectiveness, its outcomes for pupils, its teaching and its sixth form, but this latest inspection found standards had been raised.

Siobhan Hearne, the school’s principal, said: “We’re delighted because standards and results have improved.

“The students are now getting a much better deal than they were in the past.

“We’ve worked as a team to drive up standards, we’ve improved the quality of our teaching and have intervened earlier to make sure students get back on track.”

Five inspectors visited the school on January 18 and 19 and gave a satisfactory rating in every category – pupil achievement, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

The report reads: “Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that the college no longer requires significant improvement.

“Teaching has improved from being inadequate at the last inspection to being satisfactory now.”

It highlights improvement in exam results and “relentless efforts being made by the principal and her senior leaders to drive up standards”.

Inspectors said students’ achievement could be raised by providing more challenging tasks and more opportunities to demonstrate independent learning, ensuring consistency in the marking of work so they know how to improve and improving the engagement of parents and carers in their children’s learning.

Attainment in foreign languages is something the school has been told to improve.

The Evening Telegraph reported last month that the Government is set to scrap the satisfactory rating to help tackle schools that are not improving.

Ms Hearne, who was appointed principal in September 2009, said: “We’re aiming for a good rating next time – our exam results in the summer were significantly above the national average and we’re predicting slightly better this year, which will give us a trend of continuous improvement.

“It’s onwards and upwards, we’re not sitting back and our aspiration is to make this school outstanding.”