PUPILS at Blackburn's Pleckgate High are making good progress despite their school week being shorter than recommended, according to a new inspection report.

A team of 16 Ofsted inspectors who visited the school last year found it to be performing well above average compared to similar schools with teaching described as good across all subjects and a good range of extra-curricular activities.

Pupils were found to be well-behaved even in crowded corridors, teachers were committed and lessons well-planned while the leadership and management of the school were also praised.

But the inspectors highlighted the length and organisation of the day as a weakness and the length of the teaching week as below that recommended.

They also found attainment in core subjects was below the national average and there was an underdevelopment of basic skills in literacy and numeracy, as well the use of information and communication technology.

Head teacher Heather Jamison, who was singled out for praise by the inspectors, said: "Ofsted inspections are difficult occasions for staff and pupils. The paperwork required takes a lot of time beforehand and the stress of the week is heavy.

"The key issues are things we have already begun to examine and both are already in our development plan so this report has confirmed our thinking rather than surprised us.

"We are all very proud that the report is so positive about our efforts and progress. We do have a strong school, hard working pupils and staff and it is good to have this officially recognised."

The school is to improve skills in literacy and numeracy by providing structured courses of direct teaching and guided learning in reading, writing, mental arithmetic and computing skills, as well as providing a more effective and broad curriculum by lengthening the taught week.

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