The Governors and Leadership of Countesthorpe Leysland Community College welcome the external scrutiny and review that results from an OFSTED inspection.
We are obviously disappointed with the final conclusions of the inspection. We do, however, accept its findings. We take the conclusions within the report extremely seriously. Each day our staff strive to provide the very best learning, environment and atmosphere for all our students. The inspection report has set out a number of challenges for us to address. We are implementing robust plans to mitigate the areas of concern within the inspectors report quickly and effectively.
We are pleased that the OFSTED report acknowledges the difficulties the school has faced during the past three years as it merged the two schools. It is also good to note that the inspectors have highlighted the ambitious and focused new leadership of the College, its commitment to improve the culture and ethos of the College, and their confidence in leadership to bring about the outcomes set out in the report.
This is the first inspection since the merger of Countesthorpe Community College and Leysland High School in 2016 and the appointment of its new Principal earlier this year. We have, as you know, also benefited from our association with the LIFE Multi Academy Trust who received an outstanding OFSTED rating and who support us in the development of the College across a range of activities to move the College forward.
We know that our students and our staff have had to endure an element of instability and disruption whilst the complexities of the merger worked through. We are grateful to our students, staff, parents and carers for their support during the complex operational challenges that the merger has created. Our plans to overcome those challenges are now being embedded and are providing a positive environment for our students to enjoy their education.
As you will understand, the timing of an inspection is not dictated by the school. Our OFSTED Inspection took place on July 2nd and 3rd when only 56% of the college was occupied by its student population due to the absence of years 10, 11 and 13. Also, only a small number of Year 12 were present. This of course, means that inspectors were not able to observe and talk to students from those years and so were unable to get a full view of the College. As a consequence, some of the findings within the report were based on that.
Within the report there are outcomes that the Governors and Leadership take extremely seriously. The safety and well-being of all our students are and will remain our priority objective. We are totally committed to ensuring that we have robust systems and procedures in place for all our students to feel they are learning in a safe and secure environment. We have implemented plans that will
improve the reporting of any issues faced by our students. We are reviewing both our CCTV provision and how students move around the complex site. We accept and understand that safeguarding our students is of paramount importance. We also acknowledge that the move from a paper based recording system to an electronic one experienced issues and was not as quickly and efficiently in place as we hoped. It is important that we outline what we have already put in place to address the key outcomes of the report.
- Implemented a new teaching and learning policy, which has at its core, a behaviour for learning strategy.
- Improved the physical environment for our students and have in place a programme of refurbishment.
- Worked with the Local Authority Safeguarding Team to ensure our safeguarding practices are now effective.
We are also putting in place other actions to ensure we are doing everything we can to address the findings of the inspection.
- Carrying out student voice to fully understand what has been reported to OFSTED.
- Launching a new rewards scheme for students to participate in.
- A thorough review of our anti- bullying policy and the recruitment of anti bullying mentors.
- Applying for the Inclusion Quality Mark; a nationally recognised framework based around inclusion for all which will help us improve and grow.
- A review of student movement around the campus and lunchtime arrangements.
- Developing student leadership opportunities across the College.
The majority of our students behave in an exemplary manner throughout the school day. The very small number of students whose behaviour does not fall within the parameters of good behaviour and the wider values of the College whether towards fellow students or staff, will be subject to robust procedures implemented in spring 2019 to deal with such behaviour.
We are pleased that some very positive outcomes were identified in the report. Our Sixth Form received good feedback. Leadership of the Sixth Form was, in the words of the report, effective. Students were happy with the quality of teaching and the learning environment. The report highlights the good academic and vocational outcomes our students achieve. We are confident that our provision for this important stage in a student’s educational life will continue to flourish and grow.
We are very aware that Countesthorpe Leysland Community College is still evolving and that there are still challenges from the merger to be addressed. In particular, the improvements to the infrastructure of the two sites into one integrated campus and indeed the urgent completion of the key improvements and upgrades that are planned for some of our facilities. Some of the findings around the condition of toilets for example had been identified and actioned before the inspectors’ visit.
The current planning application lodged to build a new state of the art £8m teaching facility near to the Countesthorpe Community College building and replacing the current Leysland School site will be a significant element in providing a modern, safe and state of the art campus for all our students to enjoy their learning.
The positive impact of the new Leadership Team appointed in February 2019 is now being seen in every aspect of the operations and learning provision in the College.
The findings of the OFSTED Inspection are taken very seriously and the Governors and Leadership team are working hard to ensure where improvements are required they are implemented quickly and effectively. We will continue to put in place existing progressive and ambitious plans to improve the infrastructure and learning environment for our current and future students.
Feedback is important to us. Whether that feedback is positive or negative and whether it comes from OFSTED, students, staff, parents or carers. As a Governing Board and as a Leadership we are committed and dedicated to constantly improving the College. We want all our students to enjoy their time with us. We want to create a physical and intellectual environment where they can develop, be inspired in learning and attain skills that will support them in the future. Countesthorpe Leysland Community College has challenges to overcome, as all schools do, but we are determined and focused on improving and evolving for the benefit of all our students.
We feel it is important for you to be able to meet with us and discuss the progress we are making at the College. We are holding a meeting later in the Autumn Term for all parents and carers to come into College and talk to us. We will advise the date in the next few weeks.
Mrs C Aitcheson
Mrs S Uprichard
Chair of Governors