‘Fluctuating’ standards at Colne high school

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OFSTED inspectors say standards at a Pendle high school have “fluctuated” in the three years since the last inspection.

A team who visited Primet High School, Colne, just before Christmas found that while the proportion of students gaining five or more GCSE grades A* to C in 2011 had risen by 10 percentage points on the previous year, the figure was still below average.

Inspectors praised the high quality of teaching and care, support and guidance at the school and were particularly impressed by the school’s engagement with parents and carers. Also judged “good” was community cohesion and the extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community.

The inspection team acknowledged the dip in GCSE results in 2010 but appreciated the circumstances that led to this and the work that has been done since to raise standards - the overall achievement was therefore judged to be satisfactory leading to an overall school judgement of satisfactory.

Inspectors highlighted the key strengths of the school as being the good relationships between teachers and pupils in lessons and the excellent use of ICT resources to support learning.

The “steadfast leadership” of headteacher Mrs Janet Walsh was also praised by inspectors, who recognised the challenges that the school has faced since the reorganisation of the schools in Pendle.

Very positive feedback and support from parents and carers was also acknowledged by the team, who were impressed by the large number of parents returning the Ofsted survey forms. More than 90% of parents said they were happy with their child’s experience at school.

The Ofsted team described the school as “a harmonious environment where students get on well.”

Mrs Walsh said she was pleased inspectors had recognised the strengths of the school and in particular the benefits of a smaller school community - Primet has 504 pupils on its roll.

She said: “We have always been a very child centred school and our recent reduction in numbers means that we can offer an even more personalised approach to education for our pupils.”