Northamptonshire secondary school ‘requires improvement’ after ‘turbulent period’

Campion School in Bugbrooke has fallen from a 'good' to a 'requires improvement' rating

Campion School in Bugbrooke has fallen from a 'good' to a 'requires improvement' rating

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A secondary school near Northampton has fallen from a “good” Ofsted rating to “requires improvement” after inspectors found teaching standards had decreased.

The Government’s education watchdog visited Campion School in February and an inspection report states the school has gone through an “exceptionally turbulent period” in the last few years.

Inspectors noted that headteacher Claire Whitmore had “addressed the significant issues ‘uncovered’ when she took up post in January 2014” but there was still a great deal of work to be done to make it a ‘good’ school.

The report states: “In the past, staffing levels have been too high and financially unsustainable.

“The headteacher and the governing body have acted swiftly to address this problem. This has led to many staff changes over the past two years.

“The legacy of these staffing issues remains a challenge and is, in some cases, impeding pupils’ progress.”

The inspectors found teachers demand “too little” from the pupils and allow books to be “poorly presented” with graffiti such as scribbling and doodling.

The report states: “This sets the expectations of what pupils should achieve too low.

“Sometimes pupils are allowed to behave inappropriately: speak when the teacher is explaining to the whole class, listen to their own music on earphones, and, in one case, consume fizzy drinks.”

The inspectors also criticised the fact some areas of the school are not well cared for and are ‘tired’ and said some pupils show disregard for spaces such as corridors, which are littered after lunch and break. 
The report states pupils take too long to go to lessons after break and lunchtimes and there is a “lack of urgency” to get to their learning.

The inspectors also found some groups of pupils do not make the expected progress at the school, particularly boys, those with special educational needs or disability, and disadvantaged pupils.

The one area of the school that did receive a ‘good’ rating was the 16 to 19 study programmes as teaching in the sixth form was “better than the rest of the school.”

Peter Burrell, Chair of Governors at Campion School, said the whole school community remained fully committed to getting the very best for all students.

He said: “We were pleased that Ofsted recognised the many strengths of the school including our good Sixth Form where students make good progress, receive good quality teaching and experience a vast range of opportunities to develop their wider skills.

“The report also confirms that there are many areas where the school is doing well and performing above the ‘national average’. This includes the proportion of students achieving five or more good quality GCSEs including English and Maths and also the number of students achieving expected, and more than expected, progress in English and Maths.

“Our provision for personal development and welfare for all age groups remains Good; Campion students continue to know that they are safe and well cared for in school and our arrangements for safeguarding are strong.

Governors and the senior leadership team were already aware of the many strengths and also mindful of the areas for improvement at Campion, a robust action plan was already in place.

“There is strong evidence that these actions are bringing about the desired changes, which are needed to raise the experience of all learners to that of the best.

“Campion school continues to be committed to nurturing excellence for all our students and given the confidence of Ofsted in the leadership of the Governing Body and the Headteacher, all members of the school community can be confident that our current progress and improvement will continue.”