OFSTED inspectors have said a Rishton secondary school must still do better – but agree it is heading in the right direction.

Watchdogs assessed Norden High School and Sports College last month, finding shortfalls in pupil achievement, behaviour and safety, teacher quality, and leadership and management.

However, the report recognised the school was improving – despite giving a rating of three, the same score as its previous 2010 inspection.

“While most students make the progress expected of them in Key Stages 3 and 4, not enough students make better progress than this,” the report said.

“Achievement has improved in recent years, but is not yet good.”

Alongside the shortage of students performing beyond expectations, the report also claimed some students’ development was slowed by negative learning attitudes.

It also judged teaching as not always challenging enough, with management’s specific target-setting, and teacher-monitoring, also below par.

More positively, Ofsted praised the school’s general good progress, particularly in mathematics, as well as the level of student care provided.

The report also heralded a determination to improve standards, claiming the management’s ‘very clear view’ of success was improving achievement and teaching quality.

Progress of students eligible for the pupil premium was also deemed impressive.

Headteacher Tim Mitchell said: “I am pleased that the Ofsted inspectors agreed with our own judgments and, in particular, recognised how well we care for our students.

“In addition, they commented on how we are shaping a very successful future for the school.”

Norden, which educates 609 pupils, will be assessed again within 24 months.