Doncaster school ordered to improve by Ofsted

A Doncaster school has been ordered to improve by Ofsted following a visit from inspectors.

McAuley Catholic High School, in Doncaster
McAuley Catholic High School, in Doncaster

McAuley Catholic High School in Doncaster has been given the 'requires improvement' judgement - a fall in standards from the 'outstanding' rating given at its last inspection in 2009.

Inspectors found there had been a decline in pupils' progress, the quality of teaching was variable and students' attendance was below average.

They said pupils' progress was below average particularly in maths and English, some teachers expectations of what students can do is not high enough, curriculum leaders are not fully accountable for the quality of teaching and learning and youngsters who have special educational needs or disabilities do not make as much progress as others with similar starting points.

But inspectors rated the sixth form as 'good' and said new headteacher John Rooney had an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses.

Under his leadership inspectors found he had united the school, developed a culture of respect and behaviour had improved

They added that another strength was the programme for developing the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils which prepares them well for life beyond school.

Mr Rooney, who was appointed to his role in September, said the 'long overdue' inspection provided a 'valuable' snaphot to where the school was.

In a letter to parents, he said: "There are very many positive aspects of the work that the school has undertaken to date and gives us the confidence that we, not only, know our school well but that we have the capacity to take the necessary steps to improve it further by focussing on clearly identified areas.

"This approach is fully endorsed by our totally committed and supportive governors.

"The inspectors judged our sixth form to be good, noting that achievement is good, that teaching and learning are effective, that positive relationships create a culture of ambition and that the students themselves are proud of their school.

"We are pleased that inspectors recognise the very successful outcomes for students at the end of their time with us.

"However, the overall inspection judgement confirms our own assessment that there is still plenty of work still to be done.

"I have no doubt that we have the capacity to do this as we continue on our journey to become an outstanding school.

"We are blessed to have the unswerving support of very talented staff in this endeavour.

"Our immediate priorities are to target areas of attendance and in this we must count on the cooperation and support of parents.

"More strategically and in the longer term, as inspectors identified, we will be continuing to ensure consistently outstanding teaching and to support every child in securing a well-rounded education."