'Disappointment' as inspectors criticise leadership and teaching at Allestree Woodlands School
A SCHOOL has become one of the first in the city to be told by Government inspectors that it "requires improvement to be good" under a new inspection regime introduced in September.
Allestree Woodlands School, which became an academy in March, was visited by inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education last month.
Under the old inspection regime, the school was graded "satisfactory" by Ofsted in 2009.
But that rating no longer exists and has been replaced with "requires improvement to be good". It is still possible to be judged "good", "outstanding" or "inadequate".
The inspectors' report, which is published officially today, says the school of 1,223 pupils "is not good because the quality of teaching, students' achievement and the school's leadership all require improvement".
Inspectors were critical of standards in maths and said pupils did not achieve as well as they could despite their above-average achievements when they start school at 11.
But they did praise the sixth form, a hearing impaired unit and the behaviour of students.
The report states: "The school has a friendly, safe and welcoming feel about it.
"Students are articulate, considerate and reflective and actively fund-raise, volunteer and mentor younger students."
Head teacher Alan Brady said he was pleased to have gained a "good" grading for the behaviour and safety of pupils but added: "We are obviously disappointed that we are judged overall to require improvement to be good.
"All issues requiring improvement were already identified and are being addressed in our improvement plan.
"Our focus has been on improving teaching and learning across the school.
"We have strengthened the senior management team with two key appointments and put into place a more robust programme of teaching observation, training and support across all subjects.
"These positive measures now need to be reflected in our examination results and I am confident that we will achieve this."
Mr Brady estimates a far greater number of students will gain top GCSE grades next summer – after a drop to 57% this year.
He said: "The inspectors recognised that the school is ambitious, wants the best for its students and is already on an improvement journey."
The school will be inspected again within two years.