Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Inspectors 'Could Do Better' REPORT IS INADEQUATE, NOT THE SCHOOL, SAY PARENTS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Inspectors 'Could Do Better' REPORT IS INADEQUATE, NOT THE SCHOOL, SAY PARENTS

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH GRAHAM Reporter hannah.graham@trinitymirror.com @HannahGraham21

Heaton Manor School PUPILS at one of Newcastle's biggest schools are being let down by poor teaching and weak leadership, a damning Ofsted report has revealed.

But some parents have slammed inspectors' narrow focus on academic success as the school was branded 'inadequate.'.

Problems at Heaton Manor, in the east end of the city, were laid bare in a report made public on Thursday.

Effectiveness of leadership, quality of learning, teaching and assessment and outcomes for pupils all received the worst possible score, with the 1,920-pupil school - graded 'good' in its last inspection in 2013 - now placed in special measures.

Speculation had been rife as to how the school would fare after its former head, Lynne Ackland, unexpectedly stood down in the middle of the Christmas holidays.

Keen beekeeper Ms Ackland, in charge since 2009, was replaced by the heads of nearby St Mary's Catholic School - a concern to parents whose children go to the Longbenton school.

And Ofsted's report reveals systematic failings in leadership at Heaton Manor, with managers struggling to support and train teachers, without enough checks on their work, leaving teaching far too variable in quality.

Despite a variety of subjects and extra-curricular activities, the core academic standards weren't good enough, with too few pupils leaving with good GCSEs in core subjects.

The report shows a shocking proportion of children's achievement declined while they were at the school: just half of those who left primary school reaching the expected standard in English and maths got a good GCSE in those subjects.

And many promising pupils who joined Heaton Manor with aboveaverage results failed to reach their potential and gain top GCSE grades.

Inspectors said "turbulent" management, with department heads and middle leaders changing frequently, "meant teachers have not been provided with effective guidance or training".

The report said: "Some younger pupils told inspectors that too many of their lessons are disrupted by poor behaviour."

Attendance has risen over time, but this "masks the poorer attendance of particular groups, especially disadvantaged pupils" who were much more likely to be regularly away from school. …

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