Dec 6 2012 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
PUPILS are being failed at one of Harrow’s academies because teaching is not good enough and there are significant shortcomings in leadership, a damning report reveals.
Salvatorian RC College, a boys-only specialist science secondary school in High Road, Harrow Weald, has slipped from being a ‘good’ school in 2007 to one that ‘requires improvement’, according to Ofsted inspectors visited in October, but whose judgment has only just been published.
One parent, who did not wish to be named, told the Observer: “It’s a dreadful report and it’s a failing school. The new head has a massive task on his hands, although I think he has a vision and hopefully it will be okay.”
Inspectors gave a ‘requires improvement’ rating – the third of four grades with only ‘inadequate’ below it – to every area they checked, including pupils’ achievement, the quality of the teaching, pupils’ behaviour and safety, and the school’s leadership and management.
The assessment said:
n not all students are on track to obtain high GCSE results
n the quality of teaching is not good enough
n senior staff are not holding teachers to account for the quality of their work or students’ performance
n teachers do not routinely assess how well boys are learning
Former headteacher Andrew Graham retired from the 715-pupil school at the end of the last academic year and his replacement Paul Kassapian is credited by Ofsted as ‘making a very positive difference, but rigorous action to tackle the academy’s weaknesses has only begun recently’.
Mr Kassapian said: “The school was a good school and it still is a good school in many respects, and results are still above the national average.
“We have a clear improvement plan that I introduced from September, supporting teachers who are underperforming through drop in lesson observations, a revised line management structure, departmental improvement plans, a new programme of professional development, and book sampling to monitor marking and ensure pupils understand what they have been taught.”
A Diocese of Westminster statement said: “The school became an Academy in August 2012, resulting in changes in governance, and an excellent new headteacher was appointed in September 2012. The Diocese of Westminster will continue to support the headteacher, the Academy Trust and the Salvatorian Fathers in making the required improvements over the coming months.”
Ofsted will conduct a full follow-up inspection within two years and the school, despite becoming an academy in August so that it no longer reports to Harrow Council, has enlisted the help of the Harrow School Improvement Partnership.
n See page 21 for news on the borough’s primary schools being among the best in the country.