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Francis Combe Academy told it still 'requires improvement' by Ofsted
A Garston academy has been told by Ofsted it still "requires improvement".
Francis Combe Academy’s latest inspection from the education watchdog revealed that improvements had to be made for it to become a "good" school.
Education Secretary Michael Gove visiting Francis Combe in October.
Inspectors visited the secondary school, which attained academy status four years ago, on November 26 and 27.
The Horseshoe Lane school was last inspected in 2012, when it received a "satisfactory" rating.
The school has been unable to progress from the level three rating and has been told that, in order for it to improve further, the quality of teaching needs to be improved, as does the effectiveness of leadership and management.
Acting principal, Deborah Warwick, said that, on the whole, the report in "very positive".
Ms Warwick said: "We’ve seen active progress in terms of the achievements of our standards since we became an academy.
"The report is very positive. The inspectors commented on the improvements we have made in terms of behaviour. But we still know we have improvements to make."
Amongst the reasons why the school is not "good" is that inspectors felt there was too much teaching which required improvement in English, maths and science.
Inspectors also commented that the "most able students are not always challenged in lessons" and teachers’ making and comments need to be clearer.
Ms Warwick added: "We know exactly what needs to be done to improve it to ‘good’ and those things are in place and continue to have a positive impact.
"We intend to have a continued focus on all of our students making above expected progress. We want to make sure the quality of teaching and planning at Francis Combe is at a very high standard."
Inspectors said behaviour at the school "has improved considerable this term", as has attendance, which is above the national average.
The report also stated that leaders and governors have started to bring about "rapid" improvements to raise the quality of teaching and learning, which has resulted in an increase of staff morale.
Ms Warwick added: "I’m very pleased the comments made about the current leadership of the academy show our strengths and weaknesses, and already this term we’ve made significant improvements."
Michael Gove talks with students during his visit.
The inspection came just weeks after the school was visited by secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, who said he enjoyed the opportunity to see "a thriving academy in action".
Watford MP, Richard Harrington, who invited the government minister to the school, said shortly after Mr Gove’s visit that he was pleased she show "firsthand how achieving Academy status can make such a difference to schools and in the case of Francis Combe, really turn performance around".
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