Northamptonshire school slams ‘illogical’ Ofsted report after inspectors says UTC ‘requires improvement’

Daventry UTC
Daventry UTC

One of Northamptonshire’s newest schools has hit out at Ofsted claiming its first inspection report is ‘perverse’, ‘unfair’ and ignores the contributions made by teachers.

Daventry UTC was graded as ‘requires improvement’ overall, however inspectors said the school’s leadership was ‘good’, the behaviour of pupils was ‘good’, and the achievement of pupils was also ‘good’.

The inspectors decided that, despite achievement being good, teaching required improvement.

The sixth form was also graded as ‘requires improvement’ despite being judged on GCSE retakes where the UC out-performed the national average by some margin.

UTC principal David Edmondson said: “There is a paragraph in the report that beggars belief.

“It says achievement is good despite teaching that requires improvement, it says relationships between students and staff are positive, there is exceptional support by engagement and learning mentors, that students are motivated by their studies, and that those students who have fallen behind when they come to the UTC mostly catch up with their learning.

“But how can students catch up, and achieve well, without good teaching? It’s illogical.

“I have always said the best thing about Daventry UTC is its teachers – they are awesome. They work hard, motivate pupils and the students achieve well.”

The team at the UTC has been so angered by the apparent targeting of its teachers for negative comments that it has submitted several complaints to Ofsted over the report, the way the inspections was carried out, and over the conduct of one of the inspectors. They have also contacted the teaching unions over the issue.

Sally Kirk, deputy principal, said: “The report simply does not reflect the true nature of the school, and that is a failure of the inspection framework. The inspectors initially called us a college in their draft, when we corrected them they called us an academy – we have never been an academy.

“Since January when this framework was introduced, no school out of 377 reports, has received a requires improvement for teaching, and a good for achievement.

“The reasons given in the report for our teaching not being ‘good’ are the same reasons given to Silverstone UTC for theirs not being ‘outstanding’