School is 'very close' to achieving 'good' rating
A CITY secondary school has been told by Government inspectors that it needs to improve.
But Mark Cottingham, head teacher at da Vinci Community College, wants the inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education to come back as soon as possible because he believes it only narrowly missed out on being rated "good".
The Ofsted team visited the school in St Andrew's View, Breadsall Hilltop, earlier this month and decided that exam results and attendance were below average.
The inspectors also criticised teachers for not planning lessons to take into account what pupils could do and not marking their work often or thoroughly enough.
Governors were also criticised for not having the "skills and expertise to be able to hold leaders to account". The inspectors rated the behaviour and safety of pupils as "good", which Mr Cottingham said was due to a revised behaviour policy, improvements in teaching and good relationships between pupils and staff.
The report says choice of subjects and courses has improved, and it praises the school's careers service and special needs provision.
Mr Cottingham, who was praised for his "positive effect on the effective running of the school", said he was satisfied that the report recognises the improvements since the last inspection in 2010.
He said: "All schools need their pupils to be happy and to be enjoying their lessons and that is certainly the case at da Vinci.
"Now it is paying dividends in our GCSE results, which are currently at record levels.
"This report, plus the excellent feedback from parents, shows that we are moving in the right direction.
"Two-thirds of our lessons were rated good or outstanding, and the inspectors told me that we were very close to achieving a good rating.
"In fact, we are so confident that next year's exam results will provide the final piece of evidence we need to achieve that rating, that we are planning to invite the inspectors back to school next autumn for an early re-inspection."