Edlington Academy branded inadequate

Exterior shot of Sir Thomas Wharton Community College - a Co-operative Academy
Exterior shot of Sir Thomas Wharton Community College - a Co-operative Academy
  • Sir Thomas Wharton Community College – A Co-operative Academy given the lowest possible overall rating
  • Inspectors say academy is has “serious weaknesses’
  • Headteacher committed to improving standards

One of Doncaster’s biggest secondary schools has been branded ‘inadequate’ in its first Ofsted inspection since becoming an academy.

Inspectors from the government education watchdog gave Sir Thomas Wharton Community College – A Co-operative Academy the lowest possible overall rating slating teaching and pupil achievement.

The report categorised the Edlington school – which converted to an academy in February 2013 – as a ‘school that has serious weaknesses’.

At its last inspection in October 2011, prior to conversion, it was rated satisfactory.

However, following the latest inspection, over two days in January, teaching quality and pupils’ achievement have been described as ‘inadequate’.

Meanwhile leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils and sixth form provision were classed as ‘requiring improvement’ at the academy, which has about 1,000 registered pupils.

Headteacher Keith Binks, who took up the post in September 2014, has now held a crisis meeting with parents on the back of the report to set out how things could improve.

The report said: “Since the opening of the academy, students have underachieved across a range of subjects, including in English and mathematics.

”The quality of teaching over time is inadequate.

“Expectations are too low and the work set for students does not match their needs.

“The effectiveness of the sixth form requires improvement. The quality of teaching is not consistently good and leads to variable achievement across subjects.”

However, inspectors did praise the new leadership and said as a result teaching and achievement are improving.

The report said: “The new leadership is tackling weak teaching and holding subject leaders to account. As a result, teaching and achievement are improving.

“The new headteacher and present governing body have a clear understanding of the academy’s strengths and how to tackle its weaknesses.”

Mr Binks told parents: “As headteacher this is not where I want our college to be or where we will be.

“The report endorses and provides a mandate for a relentless drive to accelerate changes that have already begun to improve teaching and achievement.

“We will continue to work tirelessly and with great commitment for every young person, their families and our college community to ensure the best possible outcomes.

“We are on a journey to be recognised as ‘outstanding’.”