Great Yarmouth High School faces battle to ensure standards rise

Great Yarmouth High School.Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth High School.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

A troubled high school has been hit by another blow after a damning Ofsted report put it in special measures.

However, the headteacher of Great Yarmouth High School has said it is not 'impossible' to significantly improve the school, which has suffered poor exam results and frequent changes to leadership in recent years.

John Robson, who became consultant head in February, said the key was to get the school signed over to academy group the Inspiration Trust so structures could be put in place to stabilise it.

In June 2014 the school was rated 'requires improvement' but inspectors were called in last month because of concerns about the decline in pupil outcomes and the high level of exclusions.

Inspectors judged the school to be inadequate across the board and criticised the school's senior leaders for being 'too tolerant of poor teaching' and some of the teachers for having 'very low expectations of what pupils can and should achieve'.

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The scathing report said: 'Department leaders do not have a consistent view of their role. Systems to manage the performance of teachers are weak. The curriculum is fractured and suffers from the lack of regular communications between senior leaders and heads of department.'

It adds that 'not all requirements of the syllabus have been covered in sufficient detail in order to promote better examination outcomes'.

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It also highlighted that pupils do not make 'good enough progress in some subjects because of poor teaching'.

Mr Robson said: 'I think the report is an honest reflection of where the school is currently, although it is extremely hard for me to say. It is a great sadness that the school is going to have this label.

'It is not a quick fix. It is not an impossible task because there are enough good people in this school, adults and children, who want to be associated with a successful school. The Inspiration Trust or any academy model will bring extra resources and will help the school move on more quickly.'

The report stated the school had strengths and praised the headteacher who 'quickly identified the challenges facing the school and has acted decisively to start to tackle them'.

It added 'vulnerable pupils are well supported by the school's non-teaching staff ' and highlighted some of the teaching is good and where it occurs 'pupils make good progress'.

Mr Robson believed the report would not deter high-quality candidates applying to become permanent head.

And he said the school had not yet lost many pupils to the new Trafalgar College, due to open in the town in September.

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