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Inspectors say Beaufort Community School is "inadequate"

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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Teaching standards have dropped to "inadequate" at Beaufort Community School in Tuffley, inspectors have found.

It says it has effective plans in place to accelerate pupils' progress and improve the quality of teaching, as a tough Ofsted report was released today.

The Gloucester secondary school has been judged as having 'serious weaknesses' following an Ofsted inspection and is being supported by Gloucestershire County Council to implement a development plan to enable rapid improvement.

Ofsted felt that positive changes have already been made at the school, including raising attainment in maths and science and major improvements in pupil attendance.  They also noted Good and improving teaching, found pupils to be 'polite and courteous' and found stronger progress and higher standards in the Sixth Form.

The school has a new headteacher in place, David Bishop, who joined the school in September 2012.  The Ofsted inspector is confident that the new head 'knows exactly what else needs to be done and is starting to make sure it happens'.

Ofsted highlighted the need for the school to:

 Accelerate progress in English, particularly at Key Stage 4

 Continue to raise the quality of teaching so that more of it is good and outstanding

 Ensure that all lessons are at the right level for different students and involve them more in their own learning

 Improve the consistency marking so that students know what they need to do to get better

 Continue to improve monitoring of student achievement and take action where progress is inadequate

Headteacher David Bishop said: "I am extremely pleased that the inspection team noted the positive changes already made by the school and the impact on standards of achievement and pupils' attitude to learning this has had.  We are very proud of all our pupils and will continue to put them at the centre of everything that we do. 

"The report also gives us clear guidance on what needs to be done further, to ensure the continued improvement of Beaufort Community School. Plans are already in place to ensure that all the action points we have been given are met and that progress towards these is rapid.

"With the continued support of Gloucestershire County Council and the Governing Body, I have no doubt that we will deliver the improvements required."

Governors are also improving the challenge and support they provide to leaders at all levels. They are working closely with the headteacher and the county council to update their knowledge and understanding of the school's performance.

Chair of Governors, Neil Hampson, said: "As a newly appointed Chair of Governors I welcome the positive aspects of the Ofsted report.  Whilst the timing of the inspection was less than ideal it has enabled the governing body to focus its priorities in the short and long term. 

"Work had already begun on this prior to the inspection.  We look forward to working with the Senior Leadership Team, parents, pupils and staff to ensure that Beaufort shows continued improvement ensuring excellence in the pupil experience."

The school has also commissioned effective support, which has improved monitoring and evaluation and helped the school to develop better combinations of courses.  This has resulted in more students achieving five or more GCSE grades at A* - C.

Jane Lloyd-Davies, Head of Education Performance and Intervention at Gloucestershire County Council, said, "We are already working very closely with the school, headteacher and governing body and will continue to give the school all the support necessary to enable them to tackle the areas identified as needing further improvement by Ofsted.  A team will be working closely with the school to rapidly drive up standards."

Staff have welcomed the teaching improvement  programme that is in place and are benefiting from coaching and visits to each other's lessons.  Teaching is particularly strong in art, history, geography, foreign languages, and religious studies, with activities stimulating students' imagination and carefully matched to students' abilities.  As a result, achievement in these subjects is stronger.

Students say they feel safe at the school, there are few recorded incidents of bullying and students are very confident that the school deals with any incidents effectively.  The majority of parents and carers are positive about behaviour and staff and students get on well together.

Parents and carers have been invited to attend a meeting at the school to discuss and respond to the Ofsted report and the action plan.

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  • Ysedra  |  December 03 2012, 1:27AM

    Misspelled there, sac2kmw. I wonder if the filter would have been triggered by 'incumbents'?

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  • columbo  |  December 02 2012, 11:10PM

    My daughter attended Beaufort Community School. She attained very good grades in her A level's - including an A* and an A grade and is now studying at university. She has never smoked, been rude or ate chips outside the school! I am not a disillusioned parent and I have no qualms with the school. I am sure the school will support my son who will be taking his A levels next year, as they supported my daughter when taking her exams.

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  • TheMoanerLisa  |  December 01 2012, 12:56AM

    Ofsted aside, the so say students of this shambles of a place can be seen around tuffley during the day. you can easily spot a beaufort student as they dont wear a uniform, eat chips and usually have a fag in their mouth. they are crass, foul mouthed and unemployable wastrels who like their parents are under the illusion beaufort is on the way up

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  • spindles12  |  November 30 2012, 6:29PM

    Sorry, gave them an extra two hours there, should have read 2.00pm so even more pressure than I thought.

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  • spindles12  |  November 30 2012, 6:28PM

    I bet those hours between 12.00pm and 8.0am were hectic still, at least the staff had the half term to get over it. It's good that they didn't have much notice as on-the-spot unannounced inspections would certainly keep the teachers on their toes and, of course, would relieve them of all the stress they feel when they know there's one coming. As for it being a new Head and Chair of Governors, so what, they aren't the ones who do the actual teaching so they couldn't be expected to do much in the short time they had been there when the habits of the staff had been entrenched for so long.

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  • sac2kmw  |  November 30 2012, 5:56PM

    Schools are given no notice as such certainly not weeks! This inspection was announced at 2pm, prior to inspectors arriving at 8 am the following day to inspect the school on the last 2 days prior to half term. This is a school with a new head and chair of govenors who have been in post for 7 weeks after the previous in***bants 15 years.

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  • spindles12  |  November 29 2012, 10:45PM

    Are you a teacher by any chance? You obviously don't have a very good opinion of Ofsted inspections. I don't know if the visit by the Inspectors was arranged in advance or if it was an unexpected visit but from what I know of Ofsted inspections the school could have been given notice of the inspection weeks before the actual day. I used to work at a local school and know that an impending inspection resulted in a lot of stress for the teachers. They were frantic as they created special "Inspection lessons", just to be taught on the day. There was tidying of classrooms, handpicked pupils were given tuition on what to say if an inspector spoke to them, the Head teacher had all the labels on his files renewed, just in case the inspector had a look in his store cupboard and unruly and troublemaking pupils were kept out of the way. All this leads to me saying that if a school fails a pre-arranged Ofsted inspection, even after all those special preparations, then it must be bad. I think Ofsted inspections should be totally unannounced but I gather the Education Secretary MIchael Gove has caved in to the pleas of Head teachers and is planning to drop the idea of unannounced inspections "to allow the teachers time to prepare". They shouldn't NEED to prepare, the lessons and everything else should be the same whether there's an inspection or not. Parents expect that their children are taught to the best of the abilities of the teaching staff and not just when there's an Ofsted inspection due.

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  • JonBellingam  |  November 29 2012, 7:44PM

    I am surprised to read such an unquestioning report of an Ofsted inspection, an organisation with such little credibility amongst education professionals. A cursory reading of the report shows scant evidence for some conclusions, such as that on pupil behaviour. Even Ofsted's report has to begrudgingly acknowledge recent years have seen improvements in A-C GCSE exam results. You might also question the fairness and ethicacy of an off-schedule inspection based on the first few weeks of a new headteacher and governing team. You might even question if the report is motivated more by seeking to pressure the school to leave the local council and apply for academy status, than 'helping' the school further. Fortunately I'm sure parents and the local community will have more on which to base their assessment of a steadily improving school than a partial report from an Ofsted hatchet team.

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