AN action plan drawn up to help a Burnley super-school with ‘serious weaknesses’ has been given a clean bill of health by education watchdogs.
Proposals to improve Hameldon Community College have been described as ‘robust’ and ‘carefully planned’ by an Ofsted official.
Additional inspector Terry Holland visted the Coal Clough Lane school a fortnight ago and assessed the efforts being made after Hameldon was rated ‘inadequate’ by his colleagues last December.
He has acknowledged that headteacher Gill Broom and governors were already aware that performance levels needed a shake-up.
Mr Holland said: “Senior leaders know where improvement is required and, at the time of the last inspection, were already engaged in appropriate actions. They are working rigorously to ensure that all teaching is at least good and that all students make the maximum progress and attain the highest standards that they are capable of.”
County education bosses are also said to have provided significant resources for the turnaround and set ‘rigorous timelines’ for the implementation phase.
Mr Holland has rated Hameldon’s and Lancashire’s action plans are ‘fit for purpose’, and an inspector will review progress later in the year. The 750 capacity school has around 340 pupils.
He added: “One improvement is already evident in that clear costing, timelines and milestones are included in these plans, enabling all parties to monitor progress and the success of actions effectively.”
Hameldon was placed in special measures in February 2007, shortly after being established, and given an improvement notice in July 2011.
The December inspection noted that student achievement was ‘inadequate’, amid concerns about behaviour and safety, Student absence and exclusions were too high.
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said an Ofsted action plan had been implemented at Hameldon before. He said: “The bottom line is the results are awful. Less than one in three kids are leaving with enough A to C grades.
“Ofsted say they are on track and following their advice but they said that last time. Either the advice was wrong or they did not do it. They’ve been in special measures for years now. We can only hope the action plan will work this time around and they genuinely are on track.”