A secondary school has been placed in special measures after a damning watchdog inspection.
Ofsted found Norden High School and Sports College in Rishton to be ‘inadequate’ in four key areas including: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for pupils.
In her report, lead inspector Sally Kenyon said the standard of teaching was ‘not good enough’ and labelled the safeguarding ‘ineffective’ after some year 11 pupils were leaving the school at lunchtime without signing in or out.
Ofsted also found the standards in maths and a range of subjects ‘are too low’ and pupils who are disadvantaged ‘do not achieve well and have low attendance’.
The report also states that leaders’ capacity to improve the school is ‘impeded by an overgenerous self-evaluation which gives staff and governors and unrealistic picture of current standards’.
However headteacher Tim Mitchell said he was ‘extremely disappointed’ in the judgement and has hit back at Ofsted claiming there were a ‘number of inaccuracies’ in the inspector’s report.
In a letter to parents he said: “I have to say that I take issue with the content of the report. I do not believe it fairly reflects the hard work and effort of all pupils and staff here at Norden.
“I would go as far as to say that the report seems to contradict previous external judgements that have recognised the journey of improvement the school is on, and the considerable achievements of our pupils.
“We have registered our concerns with Ofsted that this judgement has more to do with their own published inspection schedules than providing a fair and balanced reflection of the work of all associated with Norden.
“All of us here at Norden feel passionately about our school and its wonderful pupils.
“This report only serves to remind us all of the vagaries of a system that clearly penalises schools such as ours where there is perhaps less political will to assist in providing support.”
The school will be now subject to a maximum of five termly monitoring visits by Her Majesty’s Inspectors to determine if the school is making ‘appropriate progress in order to secure the removal of special measures’.