Ofsted: Failing Darwen school now seeing progress

This Is Lancashire: Darwen Vale High School Darwen Vale High School

BOSSES at a school being forced into academy status because it is ‘failing’ have been told it is making progress after an inspection.

Ofsted inspector Eric Craven said Darwen Vale High School was ‘making reasonable progress towards the removal of the serious weaknesses designation’ after a ‘section eight progress report’.

In his report, made necessary by an ‘inadequate’ inspection last year, he added that ‘the local authority’s statement of action is fit for purpose’.

As reported by the Lancashire Telegraph, the Department for Education has enforced academy status on the ‘failing’ school, despite bosses, local councillors and union officials saying the school is improving and a much-improved set of GCSE results in 2013.

Headteacher Fiona Jack said: “We are delighted with the report. It is great news that the inspector has confirmed we are moving in such a positive direction. I am also pleased that once again we have received a very detailed report that highlights how hard we have been working and exactly where we are improving.

“It makes clear that we know our school well and are moving forward with ambition and absolutely no complacency.

“This is another very positive step forward on our school improvement journey and is a chance to reflect on, and pay tribute to, the hard-working staff and pupils at Darwen Vale who are determined to show what a good school this is.”

Claire Ward, a teacher at the school and rep for the NASUWT teaching union, said it was further evidence that the school did not need to become an academy.

She said: “It says the local authority is ‘fit for purpose’ so there is no need for the DfE to be stepping in. It is just a distraction for the teachers and the job they are doing.”

Comments (5)

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3:17pm Fri 2 May 14

friend197 says...

This merely proves what we have been saying from the outset. Ofsted declared DVHS 'inadequate' 7 weeks before the GCSE results showed an 8% increase - they knew that they had to give this verdict when they did otherwise there was no way that the Sec of State could 'force' academisation on the school.

The Authority's action plan is fit for purpose and has been used to show even further improvement in the short time since Ofsted visited. The DfE and Aldridge need to walk away from DVHS and allow it to continue to improve under its own steam, as it already is (and always was).

The staff, parents and community do not want Darwen to become an Aldridge town. They do not want the education of their children and future generations to be decided because DVHS was a pawn in the plan of the Sec of State to privitise education.

However, according to the DfE brokers, Darwen is 'not a place - it is just a part of Blackburn'. This has been deemed fact from a seat in Westminster.

A shameless insight into what the DfE/Sec of State believe education to be.
This merely proves what we have been saying from the outset. Ofsted declared DVHS 'inadequate' 7 weeks before the GCSE results showed an 8% increase - they knew that they had to give this verdict when they did otherwise there was no way that the Sec of State could 'force' academisation on the school. The Authority's action plan is fit for purpose and has been used to show even further improvement in the short time since Ofsted visited. The DfE and Aldridge need to walk away from DVHS and allow it to continue to improve under its own steam, as it already is (and always was). The staff, parents and community do not want Darwen to become an Aldridge town. They do not want the education of their children and future generations to be decided because DVHS was a pawn in the plan of the Sec of State to privitise education. However, according to the DfE brokers, Darwen is 'not a place - it is just a part of Blackburn'. This has been deemed fact from a seat in Westminster. A shameless insight into what the DfE/Sec of State believe education to be. friend197
  • Score: 23

3:46pm Fri 2 May 14

Johnh1995 says...

It was never the same after it changed from Darwen Grammar School
It was never the same after it changed from Darwen Grammar School Johnh1995
  • Score: -6

8:29pm Fri 2 May 14

HelpingDarwen says...

Confirmation again that the school is back on the front foot and should not be academy-ised.
Confirmation again that the school is back on the front foot and should not be academy-ised. HelpingDarwen
  • Score: 9

6:34pm Sun 4 May 14

meloni says...

Leave Darwen Vale alone, one academy in Darwen is one too many anyway. No one seems concerned with the long term, there is something very fishy about academies, like trusting a distillery to sponsor an alcoholics rehab centre, what's in it for the sponsors?
Leave Darwen Vale alone, one academy in Darwen is one too many anyway. No one seems concerned with the long term, there is something very fishy about academies, like trusting a distillery to sponsor an alcoholics rehab centre, what's in it for the sponsors? meloni
  • Score: 7

8:04pm Tue 6 May 14

friend197 says...

One academy and one free school - both run by Aldridge Foundation.
One academy and one free school - both run by Aldridge Foundation. friend197
  • Score: 2

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