School ordered to improve by inspectors

Castle Hall Academy on Richard Thorpe Avenue in Mirfield. (D541D318)
Castle Hall Academy on Richard Thorpe Avenue in Mirfield. (D541D318)
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A secondary school achieving higher-than-average GCSE results has been put into special measures following a scathing Ofsted report.

Leaders at Castle Hall Academy in Mirfield were criticised for being so focussed on attainment levels that pupils’ progress is suffering, according to the education watchdog.

The report found that senior leaders of the Richard Thorpe Avenue school have an “inaccurate view of how well the school is doing”, that the governors are not meeting their statutory duties or understand the school’s weaknesses, teacher expectations are not high enough and they are not tackling bad pupil behaviour.

The inspectors also found bullying was sometimes not reported, and that careers information, advice and guidance for younger pupils are ineffective.

A previous inspection in 2015 had found the school to be ‘good’ in all key areas.

But on this occasion, it was found that none were up to scratch, with four of the five areas given the lowest possible mark of being ‘inadequate’.

The 869-pupil secondary school was visited in November, with the outcome published this month.

The report reads: “This school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.”

However, the school was praised for having pupils achieving five GCSE C grades well above the national average and that some pupils have a positive attitude to learning.

It was also praised for its strong performance in maths, English and foreign languages.

Principal, Andy Pugh, has already written to parents to outline an action plan to tackle the report’s recommendations.

He said: “I would like to thank all those parents and carers that have expressed their support since the Ofsted Report was published.

“Ofsted has again raised the bar, and the key issue for the academy is to improve the progress students make.

“Our GCSE results have always equipped a large number of our students to move on to successful post-16 education, but we now need to make 
sure every student achieves the best possible grade in every subject.”