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School put in special measures over poor behaviour 'not complacent' after Ofsted finds progress made

A school is looking forward to the day that it comes out of special measures following a recent Ofsted monitoring visit.

Idsall School, Shifnal. Photo: Google

Idsall School, in Shifnal, was plunged into special measures after being rated 'inadequate' over behaviour problems and has to undergo once-a-term monitoring visits from inspectors.

"Behaviour in lessons has improved," reported Alexander Laney in his report published this week.

"However, there is still work to be done. During the inspection, most lessons visited were calm, with pupils readily following staff instructions.

"However, low-level disruption persists in some lessons, and while most teachers now challenge poor behaviour, not all do so consistently. Leaders are now aware of where pupils’ behaviour does not meet their expectations and are working with staff and pupils to resolve this.

"Pupils recognise that there have been changes to the behaviour system and appreciate the increased consistency from staff. They know what will happen if they do not follow the school’s expectations. This is helping most pupils to make better choices about their own behaviour."

Ofsted has "strongly" recommend that the school, which was visited in November for its second monitoring visit, does not seek to appoint early career teachers during this time.

Since going into special measures in 2022 the school has joined the Marches Academy Trust which has supported it on its improvement. The headteacher described it as having a "positive impact".

Michelle King, Idsall's headteacher, told parents earlier this month that the school was "not complacent about what needs to be done" despite the progress made.

"Inspectors confirmed that 'we are taking the right actions, in the right order and at the right pace' focusing our work on the right things," she wrote.

"We remain fully driven and committed to ensuring we work proactively together with the pupils, parents and our community," the headteacher said.

"We are proud of the pupils who met with inspectors to talk about the school and shared their work confidently with them during lesson visits.

"We will now continue to concentrate on our key areas for improvement, especially behaviour, and we welcome your continued support with our journey."

She added that they were "looking forward to another positive monitoring visit next term".

In the inspection report, Ofsted said: "Leaders have made progress to improve the school, but more work is necessary for the school to be no longer judged as requiring special measures.

"Since the previous inspection, the school has joined a multi-academy trust. There have been significant changes to the senior team, including the appointment of two assistant headteachers.

"In addition, a deputy headteacher responsible for behaviour and a senior leader specialising in the provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have also joined the school.

"Both members of staff have been seconded to your school from other schools within the multi-academy trust. These changes, alongside changes to the roles and responsibilities of the rest of your leadership team, are enabling you to focus your work on the right things.

"Leaders from across the multi-academy trust have supported you well to achieve this. You are taking the right actions, in the right order and at the right pace. At the time of the inspection, there remained some staffing gaps, which you are working to fill."

On behaviour the inspectors said "leaders have begun to systematically analyse their behaviour data".

"This is helping the school to identify those pupils who struggle to meet your high expectations," they said.

"You have recently begun a programme of targeted interventions to support pupils to manage their behaviour better.

"However, this work is in its infancy and has yet to show impact. You recognise that there is more work to be done to develop a clear picture of why some pupils display unwanted behaviours."

But the report adds that some pupils told them that there are still "frequent" examples of "discriminatory behaviour" among pupils.

"You have focused your attention on better understanding pupils’ views and creating opportunities for pupils to raise concerns with you about their experiences," the report said.

"However, pupils told inspectors that incidents of discriminatory behaviour are still frequent, and too many do not yet feel comfortable or confident in raising these concerns.

"You are aware of this and are continuing to focus your attention on ensuring pupils feel able to raise their concerns with you."

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