Grantham academy named as one of the worst performing schools in England
A Grantham academy has been named as one of the worst performing schools in England following the publication of school league tables by the Government.
West Grantham Academy St Hugh's is among 346 schools in England which did not meet the Government's minimum standards in 2018.
The tables point to pupils' progress. Schools fall below the Government's performance threshold if pupils fail to make enough progress across eight subjects, with the main focus being on English and maths.
In its latest Ofsted report in early 2018, the school was rated inadequate for its personal development, behaviour and welfare, plus outcomes for children. The effectiveness of its leadership and management, plus the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, was rated as ‘requires improvement.’
After a follow-up inspection in November, inspectors said the school was making improvements and that the management team, led by executive headteacher Susan Dench, was taking effective actions towards the removal of serious weaknesses.
The report said: "The executive headteacher has been instrumental in bringing about much change, and there are early signs of improvement. She leads with a clear moral purpose and with the aim to provide the best for all pupils. She has brought about a strong sense of belief among staff and pupils, and there is a strong sense of purpose across the school. This is reflected in the school’s three core values of ‘creativity, responsibility and wisdom’ (CRW). She is ably assisted by senior leaders, who are also committed to bringing about further improvement."
The Government's school performance tables have come in for criticism. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "Performance tables can never tell the full story of a school and we urge parents and governors not to place too much weight on them. The secondary school performance tables are inherently flawed in that the headline measure of Progress 8 which is used to judge the performance of schools effectively penalises schools which have a high proportion of disadvantaged children.
"The effect of this is to stigmatise these schools, making it more difficult to recruit headteachers and teachers and demoralising pupils, parents and communities."
The Journal has asked West Grantham Academy St Hugh's for a comment.