Educating Yorkshire school told it needs to improve by Ofsted

Thornhill Community Academy, Dewsbury.
Thornhill Community Academy, Dewsbury.

A Dewsbury school made famous by Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire programme has been told it still needs to improve by the education watchdog.

In a report published today (Wednesday), Ofsted told Thornhill Community Academy additional funding to support disabled pupils was not used well, some teaching was not effective enough and middle leaders did “not know what is working well for different groups of pupils”.

It said: “There is too much variability in the effectiveness of teaching in different subjects and within subjects. As a result, pupils do not consistently learn as well as they could.

“The most common inconsistency, seen both in pupils’ books and during visits to lessons, is a lack of high expectations for pupils. This includes a lack of challenge for the most able and the most able disadvantaged pupils.

“Over the last few years, the progress and attainment of pupils by the time they leave the school has not been good enough.”

Thornhill was told it required improvement at its last full inspection in 2015, which took place shortly before current headteacher Beverley Matthews was appointed. She said: “The report highlights many areas of strength within the Academy and demonstrates the significant amount of positive change that has been implemented, at pace, over the last 18 months in order to secure the best possible provision and outcomes for our students. It also highlights areas we need to focus on as part of the next stage of our journey. We have already started to address many of these focus areas, but it was too early for the inspection team to see the impact of these strategies.

“We look forward to Ofsted coming back again so we can demonstrate the improvements we are continuing to make.”