INSPECTORS say leaders at a troubled high school are taking ‘urgent and decisive’ action.
After a monitoring inspection of Pleckgate High School, in Blackburn, Ofsted inspectors concluded a plan to improve is progressing well, and said concerns about low staff morale appeared to be resolved.
Acting headteacher Mark Bradshaw has received a letter from the inspectorate praising recent decisions, including four recent appointments.
The school was put into special measures in February when it was given the lowest grading possible. A chain of events saw headteacher Cherry Ridgway leave the school and the governors replaced by an interim board.
Ofsted remarked on problems with literacy standards and four new members of staff include an assistant headteacher with responsibilities to lead the English department, a new ‘lead’ English teacher and two learning practitioners for English and science.
Inspector Janet Palmer said: “A recently completed staff questionnaire indicates many of the concerns about low staff morale have been overcome. Staff understand and are on board with the changes needed to ensure Pleckgate becomes a good school.”
Following the monitoring visit, Ofsted judged the schools improvement plan, and the local authority’s plan fit for purpose.
Ms Palmer added: “Leaders have already undertaken a range of monitoring activities that are being used to help teachers understand how to improve their practice.
“The plan includes clear milestones and success criteria. Those responsible for undertaking and monitoring the actions are clearly identified.”
Ofsted also praised Blackburn with Darwen Council’s support: “The local authority’s statement of action is a well-considered interim document. The local authority is engaging with the school through high level monitoring.”