Inspectors praise secondary school after 'decisive action' improves standards

Co-headteachersEmma Anderson and Dean Webster with pupils at Newfield School
Co-headteachersEmma Anderson and Dean Webster with pupils at Newfield School
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A secondary school has taken 'decisive action' to strengthen teaching and improve outcomes for pupils'.

Inspectors have rated Newfield School, in Norton Lees, as good in all four judgement areas after visiting in March.

Their report highlighted many strengths at the school and said that co-headteachers, Emma Anderson and Dean Webster, governors and Mercia Learning Trust, have taken 'decisive action' to make improvements.

The report said: "Since their appointment, their highly effective leadership has led to better teaching, improved behaviour and attendance, and higher attainment for pupils."

Inspectors said rates of progress have improved significantly and in 2016, by the end of Year 11, pupils’ progress in a wide range of subjects was well above that of other pupils nationally with similar starting points.

Pupils' behaviour was described as 'excellent' and students were found to feel safe and treat each other with respect.

Inspectors said teaching is good and the progress students are making has accelerated.

Governors were found to be highly skilled and have the necessary expertise both to support and challenge.

Co-headteachers Emma Anderson and Dean Webster said: ‘We are very proud of the staff and students at Newfield School and this judgement is well deserved.

"The success of our school is a real team effort and we’d like to thank the leadership team, governors, staff, students, families and Mercia Learning Trust for their continued support of the school.

"We are committed to ensuring that all our students have access to great teaching and learning experiences and that our young people develop into confident, successful citizens of the future. We are pleased to see that this inspection process recognises the improvement journey we are on.

"Our excellent results of last year coupled with this judgement shows our community that Newfield School is a school to be proud of."

Chief executive of Mercia Learning Trust, Lesley Bowes, said: "I am delighted that the pledge Mercia Learning Trust made to the Newfield catchment community when it sponsored the school in 2014 has been realised.

"Families now have a local school they can trust to deliver the high quality education and the life opportunities their children deserve.

"This outcome serves to further demonstrate the quality of leadership Mercia Learning Trust has to offer as it embarks on its sponsorship of Mercia School scheduled to open in September 2018.

The report did highlight several areas that the school needs to improve on further. They must continue to increase the range of behaviour interventions so that the number of permanent and fixed-term exclusions reduce rapidly to below national averages. They must also review the use of form time to that it effectively contributes to pupils' progress, further improve the quality of teaching so it becomes outstanding.