Ofsted says Rushden school must improve

Lizzie Rowe of the Education Fellowship
Lizzie Rowe of the Education Fellowship

A school has been told it needs to improve by Ofsted inspectors.

Rushden Community College was inspected in April and inspectors say it requires improvement in achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

The school, which has 970 pupils aged 11 to 18 and became an academy with The Education Fellowship in December 2012, has been told students are not achieving well, especially in Years 9, 10 and 11, some teaching is not good and students are not learning quick enough, and students’ behaviour is not consistently good.

But strengths were also noted, including progress is best in Years 7 and 8 as these pupils have been in the academy the longest, the progress of students in Years 9, 10 and 11 has accelerated since September 2013 and the sixth form is good.

Lizzie Rowe, deputy CEO of The Education Fellowship, said: “There is much still to do in taking Rushden to outstanding and eradicating its legacy. But while we require “improvement”, we have the capacity and ambition to achieve a flagship school for our amazing pupils and the community. We are all really proud of the staff and pupils and are determined to continue supporting and developing the school as it grows further. Students start at the academy with below average attainment so we know the challenge they face in their secondary education.

“I was particularly pleased that Ofsted recognised that all groups of Year 7 and 8 students, who have been in the academy for the greatest proportion of their secondary education, are making better progress. Older students are making more rapid progress since the academy opened and are starting to catch up. The Education Fellowship is clearly having a huge impact.”

Associate principal Ian Tucker said: “I am delighted by the report and it will give staff and pupils the confidence they need to carry on their journey.

“Ofsted noted we have a good choice of subjects for our students to study, extra-curricular activities in sports and other activities, which I know students appreciate, and that literacy and numeracy skills are being addressed with extra lessons.”