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Patchway school placed in ‘special measures’ following damning Ofsted report

Posted on Saturday 26th November 2016 at 7:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Community College, Patchway, Bristol.

Patchway Community College (PCC) has been placed in ‘special measures’ following the publication of a damning report by Ofsted inspectors who visited the secondary school in early October.

Assigning the lowest possible overall rating of ‘inadequate’, lead inspector Kathy Maddocks concluded that standards at the school have declined in recent years, and criticised school leaders and governors for being too slow to implement necessary changes.

The quality of teaching at the school is described as “poor”, pupils do not make sufficient progress in a range of subjects and measures to guarantee pupils’ safety are “weak”.

All five of the individual effectiveness measures assessed by the inspectors resulted in an ‘inadequate’ grading.

One of the few positive observations contained in the report is that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are “achieving well”.

Inspectors do, however, note that the new headteacher, Karen Cornick, only took up the post four weeks prior to the inspection and remark that “there is evidence of her positive impact already”.

In a letter sent to parents on 21st November , the headteacher describes the report as a “huge blow” and points out that, while the school had much-improved outcomes at GCSE and Post-16 in 2015/16, the inspection team had been obliged to consider progress over the last three years.

As a consequence of being placed in special measures, the school’s governing body has been in further discussions with the Olympus Academy Trust (which it had already approached about joining back in January 2016) and the Regional Schools Commissioner.

The trust, which already incorporates two local secondary schools (Bradley Stoke Community School and Abbeywood Community School), issued a statement saying it was “frustrated that an agreement has still not been reached about levels of funding support for Patchway from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) in order for Patchway to join the trust”. The statement added: “We hope there will be a swift resolution by the DfE and EFA so that learners and staff at Patchway are able to benefit from joining the trust without further delay.”

Parents and carers of students at PCC have been invited to attend a meeting at the school on Monday 28th November when the proposal to join the Olympus Academy Trust will be further explained, along with the school’s plan for addressing the key issues arising from the Ofsted inspection.

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Olympus Trust to help Patchway Community College overcome “significant challenges”

Posted on Friday 22nd January 2016 at 8:59 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Community College, Patchway, Bristol.

It has been revealed that Patchway Community College (PCC) has been in discussions with The Olympus Academy Trust to explore how it might be able to help the Patchway secondary school overcome “significant challenges” that it is said to face.

The move follows the departure of the PCC headteacher at the end of last year and the recent official publication of another poor set of GCSE results, which showed that just 40% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, compared to the national average of 57.1% (52.9% in South Gloucestershire).

The Olympus Academy Trust already sponsors four academies in the local area, namely Bradley Stoke Community School, Abbeywood Community School (Stoke Gifford), Meadowbrook Primary School (Bradley Stoke) and Charborough Road Primary School (Filton).

Joint statement from Patchway Community College and The Olympus Academy Trust on 22nd January

Within the education system nationally, there is a move towards groups of schools working together for mutual support and for the benefit of their learners within multi-academy trusts, often within geographical localities. There is a strong record of partnership working between Patchway Community College and the secondary schools within The Olympus Academy Trust (Abbeywood and Bradley Stoke) through the Concorde Partnership. This has enabled students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 to study together in, and to be taught by staff from, one another’s schools.

The governors and staff of Patchway Community College recognise that they face significant challenges and that, operating as an independent institution, is unlikely to overcome the issues with its ageing buildings, lower student numbers and GCSE outcomes of late. It is fortunate to have secured the services of a very experienced headteacher, Mr Roger Gilbert, to lead it through its next phase following the departure of its long-serving headteacher, Mrs Jane Millicent, at the end of 2015.

Governors of Patchway Community College and directors of its Academy Trust, Fusion, have decided that the school would benefit from being a member of a multi-academy trust and have approached The Olympus Academy Trust about joining as they have seen the positive impact the trust has had locally and it seems logical to build on existing partnership arrangements rather than look elsewhere. Directors of both trusts have discussed this possibility and have been in contact with the Regional Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, about potential support for such a proposal.

It has been agreed that a programme of partnership support will be provided by The Olympus Academy Trust as a next step. This will prepare for the possibility of Olympus taking full responsibility for Patchway Community College in due course. Before that can happen, approval will need to be given by the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Headteacher Board and a full consultation with members of both academy trusts’ communities alongside further due diligence by both sets of directors. We will provide further updates as they become available.

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Patchway Community College students celebrate post-16 exam successes

Posted on Thursday 13th August 2015 at 2:45 pm by SH (Editor)

A-level students at Patchway Community College collect their results.

Post-16 students at Patchway Community College have performed well this year, with a 96 percent pass rate and students achieving the highest possible grades in subjects ranging from English literature, sociology, psychology and business, to health and social care, applied science and textiles.

Headteacher Jane Millicent said:

“These results show the hard work of all involved and it is wonderful to see students gain the grades that they need for university places, apprenticeships and employment. The BTEC certificate results were particularly outstanding this year, with 47 percent gaining a distinction or distinction* and 89 percent a merit or above. I am proud of our students for gaining such good results and securing excellent opportunities for their futures.”

Patchway students have some exciting destinations and next steps ahead of them. Luke Viner, who was awarded two As and two Bs, will be starting a degree in computer science at Nottingham University, as will Dan Viner at UWE whose grades included A* in sociology. Robin Barratt who obtained two As, a B and a C is beginning a degree in psychology at Cardiff University, whilst Charis Wilcox who obtained an A* and two Bs will be heading to Birmingham to take a degree in costume design. Dan Tuck is going to study law at Winchester, whilst Scott Crane, with a distinction in BTEC business, has secured an apprenticeship in accountancy with the MoD.

Robin Barratt commented:

“I am delighted and relieved that I’ve got the grades needed for my university course.”

Fellow student Paige Coughlin added:

“I am delighted with my results that were better than expected; I had been planning a gap year and am definitely going to university in the future.”

Source: Press release from Patchway Community College.

Related link: Schools in Patchway (The Journal)

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Callicroft Primary School celebrates positive Ofsted rating

Posted on Monday 20th July 2015 at 12:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Callicroft Primary School pupils celebrate a 'good' Ofsted report.

Staff and pupils at Patchway’s Callicroft Primary School are celebrating after receiving a positive inspection report from Ofsted.

Ofsted inspectors visited the school at the end of June and awarded an overall rating of ‘good’, with each of the five individual areas reviewed also assessed as ‘good’. This demonstrates the great progress that has been made since the previous Ofsted inspection in June 2013 when the school was rated as ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors stated: “Teaching has improved since the last inspection and is now effective because pupils receive work that is at the right level for them. Teachers ensure that pupils are aware of what they are going to learn and that they are given clear steps to follow so that they know when they have been successful in their learning. Checks to measure the effectiveness of teaching and learning are rigorous. Consequently, the effectiveness of the school continues to improve.”

The report also praised the school’s leadership and management, saying: “Senior leaders have a clear vision for school improvement and a drive to achieve the best outcomes for pupils.”

Headteacher Nicola Antwis said:

“This report is great recognition of the dedication of our staff, the vision of our governors and leaders and the commitment of pupils, parents and carers. We are immensely proud of the report and see a bright future for the school and every pupil.”

More: Governing body has played a vital part in school improvement »

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