Inspectors concerned over slipping standards at high school

Taverham High School's latest Ofsted report has raised concerns that standards may be declining. Pic

Taverham High School's latest Ofsted report has raised concerns that standards may be declining. Pictured: headteacher Carol Dallas. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Ofsted has raised concerns that standards are slipping at a Norfolk high school.

Inspectors visited Taverham High School in October for a short inspection, common practice for schools already judged to be good.

It was one of the first schools in the county to undergo an inspection under Ofsted's new framework, which came into force in September.

While it retained its good ranking, inspectors voiced concerns "that standards may be declining" and said improvements were needed in teachers' subject planning, pupil assessments and behaviour management.

As a result of the findings, Ofsted's next visit will be for a full inspection.

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The schools said it would look forward to the next inspection "to demonstrate the wider educational offer in the school".

In their report, published on Monday, inspectors said behaviour was starting to improve at the school but that some lessons were "regularly disrupted" by a small number of pupils.

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Teaching in English and science had not improved enough since the inspectorate's previous visit, although pupils were found to make good progress in maths.

There were also said to be gaps in teaching for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and in support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

While teachers assessed pupil's progress regularly, many did not use the information effectively to support their planning.

Despite concerns, inspectors said headteacher Carol Dallas had a "clear vision for the school" and teachers said they were getting help to improve their practise.

The school in Beech Avenue has around 1,188 pupils on its roll and was last inspected in March 2016, since when Ofsted said there had been significant changes to staffing.

Ms Dallas said: "As one of the first secondary schools to face the new inspection framework that came out in September 2019, we were grateful that Ofsted recognised the improvements that we have been working on to improve the curriculum and the quality of education in the school.

"We are confident that using this as a springboard Taverham High School will go from strength to strength and we look forward to a full section five inspection to demonstrate the wider educational offer in the school which this narrow inspection did not give time to look at."

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