School to shut after third time in special measures

Endeavour High School
Endeavour High School
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A FLAGSHIP school which was launched to raise standards in a city with traditionally low exam results is to be closed down just over a decade after it opened, having gone into special measures three times.

Hull City Council has announced that Endeavour High could close by 2015 after the Department for Education failed to find a strong academy sponsor to take over the struggling secondary school.

This is because of low current and projected pupils numbers which would make it difficult to offer a range of courses, particularly in the GCSE years, the council said. There are around 500 pupils currently enrolled at the 1,200-capacity school and the figure is expected to drop in future after a low take-up of year seven places this term.

The authority’s cabinet will be asked to launch a consultation over closure of the school by 2015 with pupils currently in years seven, eight and nine transferring to new schools at the start of the next academic year.

A council statement said it was crucial to get the views of parents and carers, school staff and interim executive board and the local community.

Vanessa Harvey Samuel, Hull City Council’s manager for learning and skills, said: “I would like to reassure those who attend, work or have community connections with Endeavour High School that we are in the initial stages and we will keep them involved and informed in the consultation.

“No decisions on the future of Endeavour High School have been taken, and it is crucial that we gain the views of everyone with an interest in the school to enable us to develop proposals with the best interest of pupils at heart.”

The school’s future has been in fresh doubt ever since it was rated as inadequate and placed in special measures by Ofsted last year – the third time this has happened in its short history.

The report criticised governors and leaders for not making progress in tackling “inadequacies” in teaching and the poor standards being achieved in pupils in both English and maths. It said: “As a result of weak teaching, students are unable to improve their reading and writing skills and this slows down their progress. Too many lessons are poorly planned so that students of all abilities are not given work that challenges, excites and engages them.”

It criticised governors for failing to hold the school to account and pupil attendance was also highlighted as an issue.

Endeavour High School opened in 2001 after the council closed both William Gee School in north Hull, and Amy Johnson in west Hull. It operated on a split site for the first two years before moving to a new £15m purpose built home in 2003. Now just ten years on it looks set to close.

When it was launched it was hoped the school would help drive up standards in the city.

However in its early years it recorded some of the worst GCSE results in the country, saw a head teacher resign and suffered a damning Ofsted inspection which put it into special measures for the first time in 2004.

After the most recent Ofsted inspection a new interim executive board was appointed in January to take over from the previous governing body.

The school saw 30 per cent of pupils achieve five good GCSE grades including English and maths this summer. This was up on last year but is still below the national Government target.