EDUCATION watchdogs have praised the work being done by teachers and staff at a South Derbyshire secondary school as they attempt to bring it out of special measures.
Oftsed have published details of its first visit to the Pingle School, in Coronation Street, Swadlincote, since it was dubbed ‘inadequate’ following a visit earlier this year.
Inspectors praised the ‘positive impact’ and ‘ambitious’ nature of a new-look leadership team spearheaded by acting head teacher Viv Sharples.
However, Ofsted has revealed that changes needed to be made to the school and local authority’s improvement plans due to ‘unrealistic’ elements.
Oftsed inspector Trevor Riddiough said: “The school’s senior leaders have responded positively.
“The acting head teacher has had a positive impact since her appointment and improvements in many aspects of school life are apparent.
“The acting head teacher and senior leaders, including governors and the local authority, are very ambitious for the school.
“There is a clear sense of direction and a strong commitment to improvement.
“Staff are unified and are now working hard together to make the improvements that are needed.
“A culture of openness has helped senior leaders to identify quickly what needs improving and an action plan was assembled.
“Both the local authority’s plan and the school’s improvement plan require amendment.
“The timescale for the removal of special measures is not realistic and the local authority’s support plan does not mesh with the school’s action plan and timescales are not aligned.
“The acting head teacher and the local authority recognise these drawbacks and have plans to rectify them.
“Governance at the school has been transformed by the formation of an interim executive board.
“Governors are now clearly focused on the quality of education received by the school’s students. They are committed to helping the school to make rapid progress by overseeing improvements in achievement, teaching and learning, behaviour and attendance, and leadership and governance.”
Acting head teacher Viv Sharples spoke to the Mail following the publication of the first Ofsted report since Pingle was placed in special measures.
She said: “They are pleased with the progress we are making.
“The Pingle School is a lovely place to be. We are constantly listening to the views of students, teachers, support staff, parents, carers and making improvements day by day to our school.
“We are very proud of our students who are living up to our mission statement - respect, engage, succeed.
“Students want to learn and are being given every opportunity to accelerate their progress. We want to ensure high standards of behaviour and engagement are maintained throughout the school year.”