Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech told to improve

INADEQUATE progress has been made at Thomas Clarkson Community College since opening in 2007 – and too much of the teaching “remains barely satisfactory”.

INADEQUATE progress has been made at Thomas Clarkson Community College since opening in 2007 – and too much of the teaching “remains barely satisfactory”.

Those are two of the damning statements made by Ofsted inspectors after their latest inspection at the Wisbech school last month.

Inspectors also raised fears about a significant budget deficit which is hampering child development and said attendance is causing serious concern.

Staff have now been ordered to make urgent improvements before the next inspection and take significant steps to raise the quality of teaching.

In a letter to the school, inspector Alan Alder said there had been “insufficient improvement” and a lack of focus on the “implementation or effectiveness of some improvement strategies”.

On the school’s debt, he said: “This is now being reduced but it is restricting the resources the school has to bring about improvement.”

Most Read

An inspection at the school on May 18 and 19 this year revealed that students are not being properly guided by teachers.

The report said: “Students tend to be compliant but not actively engaged in improving their learning.”

Mr Alder said that students are not given the freedom to think for themselves and that marking is inconsistent with students given no feedback on how to do better.

Other pupils are being stifled by not moving into higher ability sets when they improve and pupils with special educational needs or disabilities have particularly low attendance.

Attendance in Year 7 is well blow the national average and a high proportion of students take holiday during term time.

However, inspectors said there are some signs of hope. Behaviour was judged to have improved and racist incidents at the school have declined.

Inspectors also praised the governing body and said: “Its members are effective in holding those with responsibilities to account.”

Principal Maureen Strudwick said: “A great deal of work has already been done and considerable progress has been made – as Ofsted have acknowledged in previous monitoring visits. There is clearly more to achieve – as we always knew there would be – but I am pleased inspectors recognised the improvements we have made so far.

“These include improvements in English GCSE and module results in mathematics and science; the continuing improvement in behaviour, the greater proportion of outstanding teaching and the positive relationships between staff and students.

“Ofsted praised the school’s senior leaders for being very clear about what needs to be done to improve the school, and they said our approach was well judged. I am also pleased that they recognised that leaders have a clear understanding of the needs of the school’s increasingly complex and diverse community. The unstinting work to build on these improvements will continue.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter