Sowerby Bridge High School rated ‘inadequate’ in latest Ofsted inspection

Sowerby Bridge High School
Sowerby Bridge High School

Education watchdog Ofsted has recommended that Sowerby Bridge High School is put into special measures.

An inspection carried out in October gave the school, on Albert Road, Sowerby Bridge, the ‘inadequate’ rating.

The report said arrangements for safeguarding are ineffective, the relationship between the governing body and leaders is damaged and leaders and governors have failed to ensure “appropriate financial controls”.

It also said: “Leaders have not secured the necessary improvements in the quality of teaching to ensure that pupils make good progress. This has been the case since 2008. The impact of additional activities to support pupils’ progress is not evaluated, so leaders do not know what is working well and what is not.”

It outlined that attendance is low and some teachers do not consistently use standard spoken English or model good handwriting, which has had an impact on pupils’ learning.

However, the report said students in the sixth form make good progress and are well prepared to take the next steps, with the majority moving on to further study or employment.

Leaders were also praised for ensuring that different cultural and religious backgrounds were respected.

The school says it will continue to strive for improvement and is confident that standards will rise.

Kate Sanderson, headteacher of the school, said: “Our top priority is for students to achieve their full potential and we are working very hard to turn things around.

“We recognise that there are areas for improvement at the school and the whole school community is fully committed to addressing the outcomes of the Ofsted report.

“We are taking urgent steps to improve and a comprehensive action plan will shortly be in place. The safeguarding issues raised have already been addressed and a review of governance is underway, supported by Calderdale Council.”

Councillor Megan Swift, the Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “We are confident that Sowerby Bridge High School has the capacity to make the necessary improvements quickly.

“The school has a strong team working hard to secure the best possible outcomes for young people, and will continue to receive the Council’s full support.”