EDUCATION chiefs have praised improvements at a Rossendale school placed in special measures last year.

Ofsted inspectors visited Fearns Community Sports College in Stacksteads earlier this month for the third time since finding the school was ‘inadequate’ in April 2014.


Inspector Shirley Gornall said the Fearns Moss school was making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

However she added that it may not appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring inspection.

The original report last year labelled the quality of English and maths teaching as ‘not good enough’, and said senior leaders had been ‘unsuccessful in improving the quality of teaching’.

The school, which has more than 500 pupils, was rated satisfactory by Ofsted after three previous inspections in 2012, 2008, and 2005.

Jon Venn has led the school as acting head teacher since January 1 after the resignation of Nigel Dawson.

Mrs Gornall said: “The school’s data indicate standards are rising and the proportion of students who are in line to attain GCSE qualifications in five or more subjects at grades A* to C will be better in 2015 than in the previous two years.

“Inspection evidence indicates progress in mathematics is accelerating because teachers’ understanding of students’ capabilities.

“Teaching is improving but is still variable in quality.

“Individual teachers have benefitted from coaching and from visiting other schools to observe practice.

“Students and parents who spoke with inspectors stated that good relationships are now the norm between the teachers and students.

“They gave many examples of teachers ‘going the extra mile’ to support students .”

Acting head teacher Jo Venn said: “I’m pleased with what the inspectors have said and confident the next inspection will also be positive.

“They praised the parent’s forum which we set up to to improve communication and the behaviour and the uniform as well .”