Ofsted indicates Boroughbridge High School’s ‘good’ grade under threat
Feb 18, 2022

Boroughbridge High School has maintained its ‘good’ Ofsted rating — but the schools inspector indicated the grade “might not be as high” if it had carried out a full inspection.

The 446-pupil school’s Ofsted report was published this week following a short inspection on January 11 and 12.

The school received a ‘good’ grading in its last full Ofsted inspection in 2012.

Schools assessed to be ‘good’ do not receive graded judgements on their next visit.

Instead they are subject to short inspections and if Ofsted finds evidence that they would now receive a higher or lower grade, they are told they will receive a full inspection next time — which is what happened in this instance.

The school was commended for its approach to tackling bullying. Pupils said they know adults will help if it occurs and it is “very rare”. The school was also praised for creating a positive atmosphere where pupils feel safe.

The report added leaders have coped well with the pandemic and have adapted the curriculum to ensure pupils have time to catch-up on missed work, such as science lessons.

Enrichment opportunities and the focus on individual pupils’ needs also earned praise. Safeguarding was deemed “effective”.

Classroom disruption

But the report raised concerns around an ‘inconsistent approach to dealing with low-level disruption’ — a view shared by parents.

It also said ‘teachers do not always make their expectations clear’ and ‘plans to develop pupils’ love of reading are not well embedded’.

Inspectors will return to the school within two years for a full inspection.

The report says:

“In some lessons, some pupils lack engagement. Teachers do not always have high enough expectations of pupils’ behaviour in lessons.  Staff do not consistently apply expectations around uniform. Consequently, pupils’ attitudes are variable.

“Governors do not challenge leaders about standards of behaviour, to ensure that what leaders tell them is accurate.”

Kathryn Stephenson, the school headteacher

Headteacher Kathryn Stephenson said:

“We are delighted that inspectors recognised that pupils within the Boroughbridge High School community are safe, happy and successful.

“We are determined to get back to our pre-pandemic standards as quickly as possible whilst we continue to drive forward on these action points before Ofsted return. We look forward to working with our students and their families on the next part of our journey.”


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Sixth form closure

School governors decided this month to temporarily close the sixth form in the summer due to issues with funding and declining student numbers.

The Ofsted report says there are currently only 12 sixth form students.

All courses and pastoral support will transfer to King James’s School in Knaresborough. The two schools federated last year.


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