Caedmon College, Whitby: Quality of education at Yorkshire school 'not consistently good' says Ofsted

Caedmon College Whitby requires improvement – that was the judgement of Ofsted inspectors in a report which has just been published.

Ofsted said that the quality of education provided, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management, as well as the overall grade, all required improvement. But sixth form provision was rated as good.

The report says the quality of education the school provides “is not consistently good across and within subjects” and ambitious intentions of the curriculum are not fully realised in pupils’ experiences in lessons.

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Leaders had taken action to develop the curriculum and made sure key stage three students accessed a deeper range of knowledge and skills than was previously the case – but the curriculum “is not taught sufficiently well across all subjects”.

Caedmon College, Whitby.Caedmon College, Whitby.
Caedmon College, Whitby.

Inspectors noted that in lessons, most pupils behaved well, responded to teacher requests and contributed to class discussion.

But on too many occasions, this was not the case outside of lessons, with students’ behaviour at social times “less orderly” with pockets of poor behaviour persisting despite more intensive supervision – with students vaping in school toilets still a concern.

The school had taken more assertive action to address poor behaviour, reflected in a higher number of fixed-term suspensions this term.

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Caedmon is also currently involved in a project with the Department for Education to address underlying barriers to attendance, with some evidence that the school’s work was leading to improvements in attendance for some pupils.

Students in a Caedmon College science lesson.Students in a Caedmon College science lesson.
Students in a Caedmon College science lesson.

Despite this, rates of absence "remain too high”.

Inspectors acknowledged that the school was going through “a significant period of change” and that the amalgamation of Whitby’s secondary schools was “a source of contention” in the community, but it was “commendable that, in this context, pupils’ overall progress remains in line with that achieved by other pupils nationally."

They said staff had remained focused on pupils’ education and leaders were bringing increasing stability to the school’s work and a clear plan was in place to manage the transition.

What action the school needs to take to improve

•ensure that assessment, and the tasks that teachers set pupils, enables teachers to get a deeper picture of the knowledge and skills that pupils have acquired.

•improve pupils’ behaviour outside of lessons

•improve attendance of pupils needs improvement

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•take more effective action to address any patterns of concern with safeguarding

In a statement, head of school Susan Boyd said: “Caedmon College is working in partnership with Executive Leaders from the Wonder Learning

Partnership to continue with its priority to implement the agreed school improvement.

"We continue to recognise the many strengths of the school but will continue addressing those areas that need to develop.

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“We acknowledge the uncertainty and challenges which children, colleagues, parents, and the school community have faced and appreciate that during our recent Ofsted Inspection the inspectors commended how ‘pupils’ overall progress remains in line with national outcomes in this period of significant change.

"Our colleagues continue to focus on our pupils’ education and the inspectors recognised ‘staff build positive relationships with pupils,’ and we thank them for their dedication as we work together to drive forward the quality of education.

“We are delighted the inspectors recognised that ‘students in sixth form experience a well- designed curriculum that meets their needs’ and the school supports their academic and personal development in well-considered ways with recognition that ‘students in sixth form achieve well.’

“We will continue to communicate with parents, carers, and the wider school community as we work together to shape the education for our children and young people.”

Go to to read full report.

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