End-of-term boost for teachers and students

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STAFF at a Doncaster school which plans to leave local authority control have started the Easter holidays with a spring in their step with Ofsted inspectors saying it is getting better.

Balby Carr Community Sports and Science College, which was rated only ‘satisfactory’ in 2009, is said to have made improvements after inspectors carried out an interim check a couple of weeks before classes broke up for the end of term on Friday.

The Weston Road school, with more than 1,200 pupils, is currently involved in public consultation about becoming a Co-operative Trust and reviewing the possibility of becoming an Academy with the Co-operative as a sponsor.

When the school was inspected 18 months ago, it was asked to raise standards in English and maths by ensuring better teaching, with a greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy at Key Stage 3.

Last summer attainment of five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths, increased to above the national average for the first time.

Ofsted inspector Johan McKinnon has told headteacher Martin Craig: “I am of the opinion that at this time the school has made satisfactory progress in making improvements, and satisfactory progress in demonstrating a better capacity for sustained improvement.”

Mr McKinnon said the quality of teaching and learning was improving and the curriculum in KS3 was “more engaging and motivating, with a strong focus on interactive and investigative activities which capture interest and stimulate learning”.

The verdict delighted Mr Craig, who said: “Things have improved greatly all over the school, not just in our qualifications. That is down to the hard work of the students, staff and parents who all recognised they wanted to see a good school.

“Obviously we know there is still more to do and we are hoping to get better, but it is good that the school is recognised nationally and locally.”

Inspectors said students thought the school was improving.