Ofsted: Fowey Community College is not up to standard
THE head teacher of Fowey Community College has defended his school after Ofsted inspectors rated it as inadequate.
John Perry also denied a round of planned redundancies had anything to do with the scathing report.
Published on Monday, the report states the quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management requires improvement, while pupils' achievement was rated as inadequate.
Inspectors highlighted in their report that GCSE results at the school had been too low: "GCSE results are well below the national average, particularly in English and science.
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"In 2011 there was an improvement in the GCSE results but this was not sustained in 2012."
However, the inspectors, who visited the school in January, acknowledged that improvements had been made.
"The quality of teaching across the school has improved since the previous inspection and this is resulting in improved progress for students," they reported.
Mr Perry said he was disappointed but believed the school was heading in the right direction.
"We're obviously very disappointed with the overall grade, but pleased that Ofsted has recognised in the report the significant progress the school's made since the last inspection," he said.
"The grading we have received is based largely on last year's GCSE results, which have been subject to judicial review and universally accepted to be unfair.
"Our results were lower than expected as a direct result of this marking; this issue is having a serious effect on many other schools, as well as Fowey Community College."
Mr Perry said the change in grade for his school also reflected the newer and more demanding Ofsted framework which came into force in September 2012.
"A grade 4 is the lowest grade," he added, "although within that grade Fowey is judged to be 'serious weaknesses' rather than 'special measures'; the latter is significantly more serious.
"I've written to parents to explain the implications of this inspection result for our students and the school as I know this is a shock to most, given how much the school has improved in the past few years. I invite parents and the community to read the report in full, as it's very positive and stresses that the inspectors are confident the school's on track in all areas of teaching and support.
"The inspectors have stated in no uncertain terms that they have confidence in the leadership of the school and the actions which have been taken over the past few years to ensure our students are safe, happy and reaching their potential."
Alan Shakerley, the chairman of governors, said they fully supported the leadership team and the direction the school had taken in the past few years.
"Fowey Community College has a strong reputation in the community, and rightly so," he said.
"The comments of the inspectors reveal that the school's current measures for attainment are working and we fully hope to see this reflected in the examination results in the summer; the January results were strong."
The school will be subject to further monitoring inspections in the coming months.
On the planned redundancies, the final number of which is not known, Mr Perry said: "The redundancies have no relation at all to our Ofsted report and the timing is coincidental.
"The redundancies were planned in 2012 and are due solely to incoming Year 7 numbers being lower than outgoing Year 11s in 2013 due to a lower birth rate.
"This happens sporadically nationally and affects all schools. Obviously, school numbers dictate the budgets we receive per student; GCSE-level students receive a higher amount than those in Years 7 to 9.
"The discrepancy has resulted in cuts in staffing which we have no choice but to make with the budgets we will be allocated in 2013-14," he said.