Fakenham High School and College head says foundations are in place for major improvements after inadequate Ofsted rating

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 May 2013

Matthew Parr-Burman head teacher at Fakenham High School and College.

Matthew Parr-Burman head teacher at Fakenham High School and College.


Fakenham High School and College has been rated inadequate in an Ofsted report published this week, but head teacher Matthew Parr-Burman said foundations are in place to bring major improvements.

The report concluded that the school requires special measures and it will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

It was previously rated as satisfactory.

The report, published on Tuesday, said:

Students’ attainment has declined over the last three years and in national examinations in Year 11 has fallen to below average.

Achievement is inadequate because too many students do not make sufficient progress in a range of subjects, including English. In summer 2012, GCSE results in English placed the school near the bottom of all schools nationally.

Teachers’ expectations of what students should achieve in the main school are not always high enough.

Behaviour and safety require improvement because there is some low-level disruption in lessons due to weak teaching and rates of persistent absence are high.

The school is not showing sufficient capacity for improvement.

Despite the determination of the head teacher and his strong commitment to make the school successful, students’ achievement is too low.

Leadership and management are inadequate.

Too much teaching is inadequate or requires improvement.

The governing body is not checking effectively enough on the use of additional government funding (the pupil premium).

The report did point out some of the school’s strengths including its sixth form college, which it describes as good and says students’ attitudes to learning, the progress they make and the teaching they receive are good.

Inspectors also said students in both the school and college are courteous, willing and polite, a new marking system is starting to help improve students’ progress, a greater focus upon literacy and developing independent learning is helping to engage students in lessons and most middle leaders are keen to implement systems that will improve progress.

Mr Parr-Burman, who has been head of Fakenham High School and College since April 2011, said: “Whilst being extremely disappointed with the overall judgement of the school, I am pleased that Ofsted’s inspection team has recognised some of the steps we have already taken to improve our results in the future.

“We are committed to drawing on the recognised strengths of our college’s sixth form provision and to working with Ofsted and other partners to continue to make the improvements needed to raise pupils’ achievements at Key Stage 4.”

Fakenham High School and College is set to become an academy, a move which has recently been approved by the Department for Education.

Mr Parr-Burman said: “The imminent move to academy status, as part of the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN Group) federation will assist us with this process (of improvement), as we work alongside schools in TEN Group who have recently been rated as “good” by Ofsted.

“At present we are working closely with both TEN Group and Norfolk County Council to put in place plans for school improvement.

“I am confident that we now have the foundations in place to transform Fakenham High School and College into a “good” and ultimately an “outstanding” school, and we will be inviting parents and other partners to a community stakeholders’ meeting to share our plans for taking the school forward to success.”

This meeting will be next Wednesday (May 15) at 6pm at Fakenham High School Hall.

It is open to anyone with an interest in the future of the school to come along and find out about its strategy and detailed plans for sustained improvement over the short, medium and long-term.

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