Brislington Enterprise College warned it must improve by Ofsted
A SCHOOL in Brislington has been told major improvements need to be made after a visit from inspectors.
Brislington Enterprise College (BEC), which has more than 1,300 students aged 11 to 18, has been rated as 'inadequate' by the Government's schools watchdog Ofsted.
Inspectors said exam results at the comprehensive college were below average, students failed to make expected progress and teaching was not consistently good enough.
However, the five-strong Ofsted team which visited the college on two days last month – observing 37 lessons – noted that the school's leaders were taking appropriate steps to put things right.
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To improve, the college must improve the quality of teaching, accelerate students' progress in English and maths and closely monitor the progress students make.
Exam results recorded by pupils at the school in Hungerford Road took a slight dip last summer and were below the Government's minimum standards. Only 37 per cent of students achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths, down from 38 per cent in 2011.
Despite the school's flaws, inspectors said principal John Matthews and his staff, supported by governors, had brought in a more systematic approach to improving teaching.
Ofsted said the school had a realistic view of how well it was doing and of the size and importance of its task in ensuring that students, many of whom start at the school with low standards in English and maths, achieve well.
However, there had not yet been time for the measures taken to have had full impact on students' progress and achievement.
Mr Matthews said: "It is obviously a cause for concern that Ofsted has rated the college inadequate overall, because student achievement levels are inadequate. We recognise that we need to focus sharply on improving the consistency of teaching so that all students can achieve well.
"The inspectors acknowledged that we have good leadership in English and maths, plenty of good and outstanding teaching, some exemplary practice, and strength in our senior leadership team. They had confidence in our capacity to continue our journey and that is what we are taking forward with real vigour."
Ofsted judged the quality of teaching, pupils' achievement levels, the behaviour and safety of the students and leadership and management were all in need of improvement.
But the team praised a number of aspects of BEC's provision, among them good relationships between staff and students, a "generally positive atmosphere" and improved levels of attendance.
Inspectors said students felt safe, were well informed about issues such as cyber bullying and internet safety and were clear that there was no bullying related to disability or race.
The college has units for 20 youngsters with sensory and physical impairment and 28 students with autistic spectrum disorders, which were said to provide good support.
Since September 2012, BEC has been part of a co-operative trust within the South East Bristol Trust.
Chairman of governors Des Craddock said: "In the weeks and months ahead governors, senior leaders and staff will be working with the support of Ofsted, Bristol City Council and others to ensure that the faith shown by Ofsted in the capacity of governors and staff to take the college forward is substantiated by significant improvement in student attainment."