Ofsted says high school still requires improvement

Lowton CE High School head teacher Julian Pollard
Lowton CE High School head teacher Julian Pollard

A school still has more to do in order to get a good rating, watchdogs have ruled.

Lowton CE High has been classed by Ofsted as being in need of improvement after three inspections in a row.

I am convinced this school is going to be back to what it was as the best school in the area

Julian Pollard

But inspectors do acknowledge that things have got better since their last visit in 2015.

In their latest report, Ofsted said improvements were still needed for the outcomes for pupils and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

But inspectors did give “good” ratings for the effectiveness of leadership and management and for personal development, behaviour and welfare.

The report read: “The headteacher (Julian Pollard) provides dynamic leadership that is well focused on school improvement.

“He is very aware of the school’s strengths and areas for development. He defines his mission as a journey of continued improvement from a statistically low starting point.

“As a result, he and other senior leaders have implemented a number of strategies and initiatives to tackle the areas that need improvement.”

The report highlighted new staff appointments and a review of the use of the pupil premium.

Pupils were happy at the school and felt safe and attendance had improved.

But the inspectors found the quality of teaching varied throughout the school and “does not yet enable pupils to make consistently good or better progress”.

A new assessment system was in place, but it was said to be too new to provide teachers with all the information they needed and was not being used consistently.

Pupils’ progress in mathematics was “not strong enough” and they made slower progress in maths than English.

Head Julian Pollard said the inspection report showed progress had been made since the previous visit and was positive about changes that had been made.

And he believed the school was close to being judged as “good” by Ofsted.

He said: “To me, we are on a big improvement trajectory. We have now got to embed what we have got. We have changed things and we have to watch them grow.

“I am convinced this school is going to be back to what it was as the best school in the area. That’s why I took the job.

“Whilst we can look at it and say it still requires improvement in some areas, to me it shows our journey. It massively shows we are going in the right direction.”