Rye College has been rated ‘inadequate’ in a damning report by Ofsted inspectors.
The college was rated inadequate in three of the four assessed categories – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; and outcomes for pupils – and ‘requires improvement’ for personal development, behaviour and welfare. The report was published last week following the inspection on May 22-23.
Barry Blakelock, headteacher, said: “Whilst this report will undoubtedly cause concern for our families, it acknowledges the work already started to improve our college. It finds leaders and trustees have an accurate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school and show an absolute determination that pupils from all backgrounds should achieve their potential.”
The report stated: “Over time, leaders and trustees have overseen a decline in the quality of teaching and of pupils’ outcomes. Significant turbulence in staffing has limited the impact of changes made to improve the school.
“Pupils’ progress across a range of subjects is weak but particularly so in mathematics. Disadvantaged pupils and the most able pupils make inadequate progress. The quality of most teaching is weak.
“Teachers do not use assessment information to plan effectively to meet the needs of different groups of pupils, including those who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities. The quality of teachers’ questioning is poor.
“The new behaviour policy has not been implemented well enough. Some staff do not manage pupils’ behaviour effectively and the behaviour of some pupils requires improvement.”
The report did highlight some of the college’s strengths: “Pupils’ welfare has a high priority. Pupils are well cared for and safe. Safeguarding is managed effectively. The majority of parents and carers agree.
“Most pupils behave well and attend school regularly. Behaviour is improving. Levels of exclusion and absence are reducing.
“Current leaders and trustees have an accurate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. They have put in place systems that are starting to improve some aspects of the school.”
Rye College is being supported by the Aquinas Trust with a view to joining the South-London based multi-academy trust later in the year. Parent meetings are planned for the autumn term to discuss the transfer of the school.
Andrew Ferguson, lead executive for Rye Academy Trust, said: “This report affirms our direction of travel. Trustees accept the findings of the inspection team and acknowledge what needs to be done to further improve. These actions are already built into our improvement planning and many are already underway. The college will be entering next year with a stable and expanded leadership team committed to making the necessary improvements.”
Last month, Rye Academy Trust and the Aquinas Trust announced capital funding of £4.1m had been jointly secured from government to make essential improvements to the infrastructure of the college.