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Action plan for Medway Community College

Date: 25/01/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

Urgent action is to be taken to tackle poor standards at Medway Community College after it received an Inadequate Ofsted verdict. The school is being put into ‘special measures’ despite a report that highlighted the “clear direction” provided by Headteacher Andrea Ferris and its innovative work to offer a more vocational focus across the curriculum. “This report is clearly disappointing,” commented Medway Council’s Children’s Services Director Rose Collinson. “There is a lot to do to improve the school and we will support them in tackling the problems identified by Ofsted. “We are also keen to build on good practice such as the school’s new approach to vocational courses.” The school is working towards a four-point action plan aimed at · Developing a more positive ethos in the school to improve pupils’ behaviour and reduce the number of exclusions · Setting pupils more challenging targets in all subjects to raise standards, particularly at Key Stage 4 · Using assessments more effectively to improve learning and make sure pupils know what they need to do to improve · Identifying clear strategies for tackling the school’s priorities and monitoring what effect they have. The school, which inspectors agreed was “situated in an area of considerable disadvantage”, will face regular checks by inspectors to ensure that the action plan is working. Recognising the new vocational focus at Medway Community College, the report pointed out: “Improvements to the curriculum in years 10 and 11 are meeting the needs of pupils better and helping to improve attendance. “Although at an early stage of development, pupils are responding positively to the wider range of vocational courses and work-based learning now on offer. When pupils are given the chance to become actively involved in challenging and interesting activities they respond with great enthusiasm, work diligently with one another and make great strides in their learning and personal development.” Portfolio holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks recognised that more of the school’s lessons needed to inspire pupils in that way, but said the move towards a more vocational focus was “a step in the right direction”. He welcomed Ofsted’s acknowledgement that “the curriculum in years 7 to 9 is broad and balanced.” Ofsted noted that the school was providing help for the large number of pupils who only spoke English as a second language. It said pupils understood the importance of staying healthy and that many of them ate healthily at lunchtime. They also said they felt safe at school. Headteacher Andrea Ferris said she was “determined to work with parents, pupils, staff and governors to tackle these issues and take Medway Community College out of special measures and into a confident future.”