Plan to make former failing Doncaster school ‘good’ within two years

John Innes, Balby Carr Community Academy Headteacher. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 09-06-15 Innes MC 1
John Innes, Balby Carr Community Academy Headteacher. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 09-06-15 Innes MC 1
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Headteacher John Innes wants to see his Doncaster school – which was failing a year ago – rated as ‘good’ in the next two years.

Mr Innes took over Balby Carr Academy, on Weston Road, Balby, in September, after the school was converted into an academy.

Today he backed his staff to turn things around after Ofsted rated it as ‘requires improvement’ in its first inspection since it became an academy in September.

Previously, it had been in special measures.

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Mr Innes said the latest report was a fair reflection of the school’s current position, and the main issue was there was too much inconsistency – with some aspects good or excellent, but others not good enough.

He said: A lot of the report is picking up on inconsistencies.

“There are elements that are outstanding, but the feedback is all about inconsistencies.

“Not all teaching is good and not all pupils are behaving, but we have made huge changes since September, both the staff and the school leaders. The report is all about not improving quickly enough. I think if we had been inspected in September the report would have been worse. Ofsted did not come in and tell us anything we did not know. Some of the change they want were already in the pipeline.

“From the parents’ point of view, they can be re-assured improvements are a priority.

“We are determined that when Ofsted come back in two years’ time, we will be a good school.”

Balby Carr was put into special measures after an inspection in January 2013.

It lost that status when it converted to an academy, with its status only set after its latest inspection.

Mr Innes said: “In the context of the journey we are on, I think this report is a vote of confidence that what we are doing is working and that is what I take from it.”

Inspectors from government education watchdog Ofsted said they do not think pupils at the academy make good progress and the quality of teaching needs improvement.

They are also concerned pupils do not show enough respect to one another or staff at times and that youngsters are at times disruptive in lessons,.

They also said leaders have not done enough to make sure teaching can get better at the school, which has 1,156 pupils.

However, in their report, they do praise aspects of the work at the academy.

Attendance has improved since the school became an academy, and some achievement in the sixth form is outstanding, such as sociology.

Pupils feel safe and behaviour management has improved with fewer serious behaviour incidents.

The report says that since Mr Innes started in his post improvements in teaching and achievement have increased.