School ordered to improve

A SECONDARY school in Essex must make improvements after standards were found to be “inadequate” by Government inspectors.The Harwich School was criticised recently by officials from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

By Annie Davidson

A SECONDARY school in Essex must make improvements after standards were found to be “inadequate” by Government inspectors.

The Harwich School was criticised recently by officials from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

It highlighted ineffective communication with parents, inadequate provision in the school's sixth form and a “significant minority” of students who are not punctual and misbehave at school.


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The school has been given notice to improve and could face harsher measures if changes are not made.

The inspection found problems in the sixth form including progress declining steadily for several years, leadership and management being unsatisfactory and weak mentoring and review arrangements.

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Parents were informed of the situation in a newsletter launched by the school in the light of inspectors' comments about communication.

After listing some of the findings, it read: “The senior management team, staff and governors are all working hard on an action plan to make sure we hit the areas for improvement identified by Ofsted.”

It promised to keep parents up-to-date with progress.

In a letter given to every student, lead inspector Stephen Grounds said a lot of things had been found that the school could be pleased about.

But he warned the youngsters that “the attendance of some of you is too low.”

Mr Grounds wrote: “You should be in school every day unless you are ill. Poor attendance is one of the reasons why some of you are not making sufficient progress.

“There is also too much minor disruption and inconsiderate behaviour, both in lessons and outside them, which distracts other students and stops them learning.”

He added that much of the teaching was good but some was less so and achievement at GCSE level and in the sixth form was not high enough.

Mr Grounds added the school had been told to make improvements quickly and it was important that everyone including the students pulled together to achieve it.

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