THE headteacher of Brakenhale School insists it is making progress, even though it has been judged as ‘requiring improvement’.
The secondary school, in Rectory Lane, Bracknell – which has almost 1,000 pupils – was again given the second lowest ranking available by Ofsted, following its latest inspection.
The education watchdog’s report, published this week, judged the school to be ‘requiring improvement’ in all four categories it was examined in: the achievement of pupils; the quality of teaching; the behaviour and safety of pupils; and leadership and management.
Brakenhale headteacher Paul Salter said the school had made considerable progress in the past 12 months. He added: “The judgment of ‘requires improvement’ is far more demanding than the previous grade three category of ‘satisfactory’, and we believe we are making rapid progress towards the outcome of becoming a ‘good’ school.” He said that during the previous inspection, in 2012, 50% of teaching and learning was judged to be ‘good or better’, but 80% at the latest inspection, which took place last month.
However, the Ofsted report found teachers do not always plan lessons and work does not challenge pupils – particularly more able ones. Marking was also inconsistent, and in classes where teaching is less effective, there is ‘low-level’ disruption from youngsters.
However, inspectors also found standards are improving, the school has a ‘core’ of good teaching, pupils feel supported and cared for, and governors provide effective support to leaders.
Mr Salter said: “There have been a number of improvements since the last inspection, but we are particularly pleased with the improvements that have been made in terms of teaching and learning.” He said that the school has an action plan in place, and added: “We had already identified and begun work on the areas for improvement outlined by the Ofsted team.” Ofsted gives schools one of four possible ratings – outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate. Brakenhale was judged to be ‘satisfactory’ – which was replaced by ‘requires improvement’ – at its inspection in 2012, as well as in 2009 and 2005.