Scarborough secondary is placed into special measures again

Graham School has been placed into special measures by Ofsted.
Graham School has been placed into special measures by Ofsted.

A Scarborough secondary school has fallen back into special measures following a damning Ofsted report.

Graham School has been rated ‘inadequate’ across the criteria by Ofsted in a report published today following an inspection at the school in May.

New headteacher Mr Brockwell aims to make to Graham an "outstanding school".

New headteacher Mr Brockwell aims to make to Graham an "outstanding school".

Inspectors found a number of factors that have a “seriously negative impact on the continuity and quality of teaching and learning” including: the high absence rate of teachers, difficulties in recruitment, frequent use of temporary staff and the high incidence of classes taught by more than one teacher.

The school at the time was under the leadership of Helen McEvoy who has since retired from her role after a rocky three years as headteacher.

Ms McEvoy was replaced earlier this month by a new leadership team headed by Rob Pritchard, Yorkshire Teaching School Alliance’s lead for school to school support and Rob Brockwell, who is Graham School’s headteacher.

Mr Brockwell said: “We intend to move quickly beyond this Ofsted judgement.
“I view this new start as a great opportunity. Staff members are up for the challenge and we will all work together to raise and sustain teaching standards and to build students’ self-confidence as learners and self-belief that they are people who can compete as well as any in the global market.”

The troubled school had been placed in special measures previously in December 2013 and the overall effectiveness of the school ‘required improvement’ according to Ofsted in November 2015.

Inspectors also found during their two-day visit that attendance of disadvantaged pupils has declined over recent years with progress being made last year at GCSE level among the lowest in the country.

Graham School was found to be below average in the performance league tables designed to measure pupils’ progress during their time at school in 2016.

The school’s Progress 8 score was -0.57 in 2016, compared to the national average of 0, while its Attainment 8 score fell short of national (48.5) and North Yorkshire (51.8) averages with a lowly 40.7.

Many pupils and parents expressed their dissatisfaction with the negative impact of poor behaviour on learning.

The report states: “Teaching is inadequate because pupils have made inadequate progress overall and learning continues to be limited by persistent low-level disruption.

“The use of temporary teachers has disrupted and slowed learning over time. Many pupils are frustrated in their learning, as they are not able to make as much progress as they would like.”

Although Ofsted said Graham’s pupils make good progress in some classes and that teaching and learning has strengthened in English and maths, inspectors judged the school to be inadequate.

Mr Brockwell said: “Our aim is to make this school and outstanding school. We are looking at this to be a long-term project. We believe this school is on a journey to being outstanding.”

Graham School’s new leadership has vowed to move forward with speed and determination to take the school out of special measures.

The Woodlands Drive school has already been earmarked £2million for a further build with eight classrooms, offices and toilets, which has been agreed by North Yorkshire County Council with hopes for it to be open by September 2018.

Mr Brockwell said: “This is a great school and the staff and governors are up for the challenge. We have incredible students with amazing talent and we need to have high expectations and the ambition that these young people can be the best that they can be.”

Members of the senior team at Graham School will host two sessions on Monday July 10 with parents to address any concerns between 5.30pm-7pm and 7pm-8.30pm.