Bradford school rated as inadequate over its results

Tong High School
Tong High School
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A BRADFORD school has been rated as inadequate and placed in the serious weaknesses category by Ofsted because of the results of pupils.

Inspectors said that too few students at Tong High make the progress they should - especially in English and maths.

The school was found to be inadequate overall despite being rated better than this in all but one of the main inspection areas.

The achievement of pupils was rated as inadequate but the school’s teaching, leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils and its sixth form provision were all rated as requiring improvement.

Ofsted can award a school one of four grades: outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

The report says governors at Tong, until recently, have too readily accepted the reasons why students are not achieving well.

Inspectors also found students’ behaviour requires improvement. The report says: “The weak attitudes to learning of a small minority of students do not allow them to always take full advantage of the opportunities for learning given to them. At times, they fail to engage in learning and sometimes disrupt the learning of others.”

However it also says that behaviour in most lessons and around school is good and that students are polite and helpful to visitors and adults.

Inspectors said the school’s leaders provide extensive support for those teachers who need help to improve, and said leaders had taken decisive steps to recruit good teachers so there was a growing proportion of high quality teaching.

And the report says teaching and the progress of students in the sixth form are good.

In a letter to parents on the school’s website the head teacher Stephen Curran said: “In last year’s GCSE results, Tong saw an increase in the results in science and recorded exceptional humanities, ICT, Spanish and health and social care results, but unfortunately the results in maths dipped and while English improved, it was still below the national average. This means that GCSE maths and English results were not as good as they needed to be and this is a huge determining factor in the current Ofsted framework and judgement schedule and proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for the school to overcome in this inspection.”

In a statement he added: “In a time where standards are rightly being raised nationally, the report highlights what the school already accepts, that the GCSE Maths and English results last year were not good enough.

“The report outlines our areas for development, but it also acknowledges the tough decisions the school had to make on our journey to improve the quality of provision. The report also positively describes the progress the school has already made and highlights strengths and successes and the plans and strategies that we have put in place to address weaknesses.

“Most importantly, the Ofsted inspection team strongly recognises that ‘staff and governors care passionately for the welfare of students in their school’ and that together we are confident that Tong has the capacity to continue to secure rapid improvement. I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure the best outcomes for our students.”