Calder High seeks help to tackle the behaviour problem

A SECONDARY school which was criticised by inspectors over standards of behaviour is to hold meetings with parents next week to reassure them and try to find a way forward.

According to Ofsted, “significant improvements” are needed mainly in behaviour outside the classrooms at Calder High School.

“Supervision is inadequate for the size and distribution of the school and there are too many opportunities for students to misbehave while unseen,” said Inspector John Coleman, after visiting in January.

Headteacher Carol Spillane told the Courier that she was trying to find solutions which would unite pupils, parents, staff and the wider community.

Ofsted found that there had been significant staff turbulence and that several students showed significant disregard for the school’s behaviour policies.

“We need to solve this problem by encouraging everyone to work together,” said Mrs Spillane.

“We intend to share with parents our ideas for promoting greater personal and mutual respect, and by listening to what they have to say.”

Mrs Spillane said the whole community had a role to play including the police, family support staff, substance abuse workers and mental health officers.

“The vast majority of students are well behaved but there seems for some to be no common understanding and appreciation of necessary codes of conduct.”

Some of the problems at the Mytholmroyd school date from the sacking of teacher Leonora Rustamova who produced a controversial book to engage five teenage rebels in her class.

The governor’s handling of the case divided pupils and parents and was followed in September 2010 by an exodus leading to 34 new appointments out of 150 teaching and related staff.

Since Mrs Spillane started at the school she has brought about some stability. Only 10 staff left last summer.

Ofsted found that the quality of leadership and management at Calder High to satisfactory. But partnerships with parents are under developed and “sometimes lack common understanding.”

Mrs Spillane said the school had facilities for 700 students and nearly 1,400 on roll which brought about its own problems.