Ofsted rates Northampton secondary school as ‘good’ but says ‘too many’ pupils experience discriminatory language

The education watchdog’s next visit to the school will be a full inspection

Monday, 11th July 2022, 3:26 pm

A Northampton secondary school is celebrating after a routine Ofsted inspection found that it has maintained its ‘good’ rating.

Guilsborough Academy, situated in West Haddon Road, was visited by Ofsted in May and - in a report published last week - inspectors found teachers to be “ambitious for pupils” and have “good subject knowledge.”

Headteacher of Guilsborough Academy Simon Frazer said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded ‘good’, and delighted to have seen our staff’s commitment to students’ learning and development recognised.

Guilsborough Academy.

“We are proud of the high-quality education that is offered at Guilsborough and welcome Ofsted’s positive judgement of the school.

“We look forward to continuing our work to support strong outcomes for students, and offer them a welcoming and happy place to learn.”

Guilsborough Academy was additionally commended for the development opportunities given to sixth form students and the life skills lessons that help to prepare pupils for issues beyond school.

The report, however, raised concerns about reports of discriminatory language not being taken seriously or dealt with appropriately with pupils telling inspectors this happens “frequently.”

The report said: “Most pupils behave well in lessons and get on well together. Bullying is rare and dealt with effectively.

“However, pupils told inspectors that sexist and homophobic language is common, and that leaders and staff have not taken the necessary steps to address it.”

Ofsted added that, even though pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) receive support in class where it is needed, many parents feel that the provision for their child is not effective.

The report said: “They feel that leaders and staff have not communicated well with them. As a result, they are not confident that their children’s needs are met.”

Improvements suggested by Ofsted are that the school needs to engage effectively with parents of pupils with SEND to build a strong working relationship based on a culture of trust and leaders must ensure that all pupils feel confident to report concerns about discriminatory language by making sure that staff act consistently to address such language.

Actions that Guilsborough Academy have said they are going to take in response to these concerns include appointing a diversity champion, tailoring assemblies to each year group to address their specific needs and context and appointing a student voice committee.

The school will also fully integrate the use of student passports to support SEND students and enhance communication with parents.

Guilsborough Academy’s last full inspection (Section 5 inspection) took place in February 2014 and the school was rated ‘good’. Subsequent short inspections (Section 8 inspections) in 2017 and this year found that the school remained ‘good’.

This latest short inspection, however, gathered evidence suggestive that the inspection grade may not be as high if a full inspection were carried. Therefore, the next inspection of Guilsborough Academy will be a full Section 5 inspection.

Guilsborough Academy is part of the Guilsborough Multi Academy Trust.