York High school criticised by Inspectors

Set to become an independent  “Academy”

The governments OFSTED inspecting body has released a damming report into teaching standards at York High school. The inspectorate has leaked the report to the media before posting it on their web site. This is hardly the behaviour of a responsible organisation and an action which will frustrate both teachers and parents as they seek to learn more about the “failings”.

In reality several pupils at the school have done remarkably well in recent years and the denigrating comments in The Press about the Westfield community are both  ill informed and prejudiced. Unfortunately open media comments pages often provide a channel for the bigoted who usually hide behind a cloak of anonymity.

The school is judged by OFSTED to be “coasting” having received a “good” assessment from the same Inspectors as recently as 2012.

Still, recent poor exam results – particularly in science and languages – have cast a shadow on a school which started in 2009 with an impressive record of innovation and achievement.

The head teacher has already announced his resignation paving the way for a fresh start.

The government will give the school no option but to change to “Academy” status. It is looking to form a link with a group which includes Millthorpe This means a new governing body will be appointed. It may not include community representatives while even parents may lose their voice. 

Academies have been criticised in the past for paying high wages to senior administrators and some teachers.  On a split campus, which also includes the Energise leisure centre, good relations with neighbours are even more important.

So a sorry saga. The sooner the school is able to move on the better for all concerned.



Good and outstanding children’s services in York says Ofsted

School children

Eleven inspectors spent four weeks at the city council in November and December, examining all areas of services provided to children in the city.   They also spoke with groups of children, young people and their parents and carers.

Their inspection report is published today (7 February 2016).

It concludes “A wide range of effective services are in place to help children and families [in York] to access help and protection when they need it”.

Strong leadership, effective and committed front line staff and a well-established culture of listening to the voice of children and young people are features of York’s services singled out for specific praise by the regulator.

York’s Safeguarding Children Board was judged by Ofsted to be outstanding.  It is only the second safeguarding board in the country to be given the highest rating.

The children in care council, ‘Show Me That I Matter’ also gets special mention. The inspectors highlight how it works very hard to influence how children in care are understood.

Canon Lee school taken into “special measures” following OFSTED report

A York secondary school has found itself in “special measures” following an independent OFSTED report which has found it to be “inadequate”

The action is without precedent in a City which has always prided itself on having the best schools in the country.

Ofsted report Oct 2015

Ofsted report Oct 2015

Both staff and governors are criticised in the report.

Recently a temporary head was appointed to run the school

No response from the York Council has yet been published.

York still above average in education achievements

A Council report,  being considered next week, confirms that the City’s education system is continuing to  achieve above average performance results.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Exam results at both GCSE and advance level stages show an improvement over the previous year.

OFSTED inspections reveal that, as of 9th October 2015, 89% of York secondary schools are rated “good or outstanding”, 88% of primaries are “good or outstanding” and 100% of our special schools are “good or outstanding”.

This means that overall, of the 64 schools in the city, 89% are good or outstanding.

At most education stages the difference in achievement  between less well off pupils (entitled to pupil premium) and others, has either narrowed or remained constant, although the gap widened in mathematics at Key Stage 2

Detailed performance graphs can be found by clicking here

Schools inspectorate publishes list of “failing” York schools

York schools reports published “on line”

Ofsted have made their inspection reports – and statistical tables for all schools – available “on line”.York High

The statistical sheet for York High can be viewed by clicking here.

Other York secondary schools can be accessed by clicking here

You can access Primary schools on the Ofsted web site here or, for west York schools, click the links below

Most York schools are performing well.

One exception was Canon Lee (which has already been subject to widespread media comment)

Five Primary schools were criticised in their last Ofsted reports

Nine York Primary schools were rated as “Outstanding” by Ofsted.

GCSE results

Meanwhile  Key Stage 4 School Performance Tables published today show that many York schools achieved excellent results and are well above national averages.

The percentage of pupils gaining five or more A*–C grades at GCSE (or equivalent), including English and Maths, is 62 per cent. This is 6 percentage points above the national average and places York in the top spot in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The results place York in the top 14 per cent of Local Authorities in England. 

York is also in the top 10 per cent of Local Authorities in England for pupils achieving the ‘English Baccalaureate’, and in the top third for pupils achieving ‘at least expected rates’ of progress from the end of Key Stage 2.

York’s Children’s Centres praised by Ofsted as budget cuts loom

The work of children’s centres in the South East of York has been praised by independent inspectors, Ofsted.

Inspectors rated the Knavesmire, St Lawrences and The Avenues children’s centres as ‘Good’ in their first inspection, highlighting the centres’ work with vulnerable and hard-to-reach families as particularly strong.

In York, Labour are planning to cut over £260,000 from the Children’s Centre budget over the next 2 years.