Hope Valley school rated as Inadequate by Ofsted inspectors’ report

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A secondary school in Hope has been found inadequate by Ofsted inspectors, prompting leaders to cite difficulty in adapting to changes across the education sector.

Inspectors visited Hope Valley College, on Castleton Road, in December, and have now published their report.

While its post-16 programmes were rated as good, its teaching and learning, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for pupils were found to require improvement, and leadership and management were inadequate.

Principal David Willis said: “It would be fair to say that there were elements of the school Ofsted were impressed with, and there were areas which they, understandably, thought we needed to focus on and strengthen.”

Among the inspectors’ most damning findings were that relationships among senior leaders have broken down: “Their poor communication with each other and with staff is hindering school improvement.

“Key aspects of the school’s work are not well managed and leaders have not taken appropriate action to tackle areas that needed improving.”

The report also noted: “Pupils were not well prepared for the demands of the new GCSE qualifications.

“Teachers do not ensure that the work they give to pupils matches their different abilities. As a result, pupils, in particular the most able, are not developing a deep enough understanding of what they are learning.”

Chair of governors Steve Dawson said: “Given our dedicated and skilled staff, and how impressive Hope Valley College students are, we are obviously deeply saddened that leadership issues dictated our overall grade.

“We are, however, a school that is facing financial and educational challenges as we adapt to realities in the wider education sector.”

The school is currently in discussions over joining a multi-academy trust - networks of schools which share leadership responsibilities.

Steve said: “It is more difficult responding to an evolving education sector on our own, but I have every confidence we can quickly resolve the issues raised by Ofsted, and achieve the grade which staff and students deserve.”

To read the full report, go to https://goo.gl/Kv2Qdo.