The head teacher at Branston's Paget High School has quit after a poor Ofsted inspection. Marc Howell has confirmed that he has tendered his resignation and will leave his role on August 31.
He says his decision comes after a disappointing Ofsted inspection at the Burton Road school which continued to rate the school as ‘requiring improvement’.
Mr Howell is in his 15th year as a senior member of staff at the school, having spent the last three years as head teacher, and in a exclusive interview with the Burton Mail said he believes "that schools look on in fear”, whenever Ofsted inspectors visit.
The government education watchdog sent inspectors into the school for a two-day inspection on Tuesday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 10. Their report has just been published and highlighted that leadership in the school needed to be improved.
Speaking the day after he tendered his resignation, Mr Howell, 53, explained his decision to quit his role.
Mr Howell said: “The report is quite critical of the leadership. I was the deputy head teacher for 13 years here and have been honoured to be the head for the past three years. Despite a bad report, I am someone who will always acknowledge criticism, at the end of the day. The buck stops with me.”
The departing head teacher has spoken of his thoughts on the report published by Ofsted on the school and its performance.
He said: “Some of what was reported I believe is grossly unfair, but there was a lot of valid points that were made, these should be and will be addressed.
“I think schools look on in fear when Ofsted visit. At the end of the day, businesses are constantly evaluated by their customers. So with schools we should look at progression and I think in many ways Ofsted come with an already decided agenda.”
Ofsted, visits schools to assess all aspects of how they are ran and how they are performing and has now sought to quell the fears of teachers when their inspectors are at a school.
A spokesman commented following Mr Howell's resignation, saying that teachers should not be scared of inspectors, and instead they should take the chance to show off their school.
The spokesman said: “We have worked hard to dispel myths about inspection and curb unnecessary workload pressures on teachers. We have repeatedly stressed that school leaders and teachers should not do anything in particular to prepare for an inspection.
“Rather, they should focus on running an effective school. If they do that, they will have nothing to fear from Ofsted.”
It has been confirmed that Mr Howells will leave the school on August 31, seeing out the summer term.
Current deputy head teacher Jane Bailey will be taking up the role as acting head teacher from the beginning of the next academic year in September until Christmas, with a new head teacher expected to be appointed from the beginning of January.
Tim Craner, 55, is the chairman of the board of governors for Paget High School and has said what a loss to the school Mr Howell will be.
Mr Craner said: “From a governing body side of things, we are disappointed with Marc’s decision. He has clearly taken responsibility for the poor report. But we want to thank him for all of his hard work.
“On a personnel level, he is embedded into this school and will be a massive loss moving forward. We are now setting up the application process which will go into the necessary channels when ready.
“The school now must look forward, we want a head teacher who will continue the work we have already made.”
What did the Ofsted inspection say about the school?
Mr Howell said the outcomeof an Ofsted inspection at Paget High School is the reason for him tendering his resignation after more than 15 years as part of the school.
Ofsted, the governing body for assessing schools across the country visited the school for two days to complete its assessment on Tuesday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 10, and judged that the school “required improvement.” This was how Paget had been ranked after the last Ofsted inspection.
But what else did the report say?
It said: “Senior leaders have tackled several weaknesses from the previous inspection report but the pace of improvement has been slower than it needed to be.”
It also stated that senior leaders did not evaluate the impact of pupil premium (PP) funding correctly. PP is extra money that is given to schools by the government for accepting disadvantaged pupils.
The progress of disadvantaged pupils was not being sustained, despite improving, it said. It added that teachers at the school do not set high expectations for their students and the direct quality of teaching varied from subject to subject.
Specific criticism was made of teachers from key stage three for not realising when pupils fall behind in their work, leading to them not accurately identifying this and acting quickly enough to support the pupils.
Across the school, pupils had a low level of literacy and numeracy, despite efforts from the schools leaders, said the report. The governors of the school were also criticised for not understanding the school's performance levels and for not holding the leaders of the school to account.
The number of pupils who were excluded from the school, with disadvantaged boys being highlighted, was far too high – signalling the low expectation for good behaviour from teachers, it added.
Ofsted did praise the school saying it was excelling in some area, including how senior members of staff made sure that Paget was inclusive and that it had made strides to make sure everyone was included.
The curriculum was judged to be well-balanced so pupils were enrolled in courses to suit their ability. Pupils notably felt safe while at the school and they noted the support given to them by adults there.
The sixth form was rated as good, with strong teaching and having an excellent attitude for learning, and the school farm has been credited for broadening the school’s curriculum, offering pastoral support and extra-curricular activities.