Swearing, smoking and racist taunts. Now school is told ‘Must do better’

FOUL language, racist remarks, smoking and other bad behaviour have helped lead to Calder High School being given an official notice to improve.

Ofsted inspectors found the school requires “significant improvement” because it is performing significantly less well than it should.

In and around the main school, several students showed significant disregard for the school’s behaviour policies.

“Inspectors overheard frequent use of unacceptable language, mostly at a distance but in deliberate earshot.

“Students were seen to challenge staff regarding what is acceptable and what is not and groups of students who spoke to inspectors highlighted concerns about racist remarks.”

The inspectors found the level of supervision at the Mytholmroyd school inadequate and there were too many opportunities for students to misbehave while unseen.

The overall effectiveness of the school was judged inadequate compared to four years ago when it was classed as a good school.

Head teacher Carol Spillane said: “While we are right to be proud of the successful improvements that have been made, it is crucial that everyone involved in Calder High now works together to address the inspectors’ concerns over behaviour.

“We will be seeking the views of parents and carers to find new ways of working together for the benefit of all our pupils.”

She said while it was clearly very disappointing to be given a notice to improve, the inspection team reported that the overall quality of education was acceptable.

“Results were found to be much improved and there is good reason to believe students will go on to achieve more in 2012,” she said.

Chair of governors Rob Good added: “Nobody is going to pretend that a notice to improve is a good thing.

“But it is enormously important to be clear about the principal concerns Ofsted has raised.

“These are not about the quality of teaching or leadership – Ofsted made that clear.

“The inspectors’ concerns are about the behaviour of some pupils, not in the lessons but in and around the school, including those who go off site at lunchtimes. It is for this reason and no other that the notice to improve has been given.”