Special school is still not making the grade

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A city school plunged into special measures five years ago still requires improvement, say education watchdogs.

However, despite years of turmoil, the future for Moorbrook School in Preston is looking brighter.

Inspectors from the Office fro Standards in Education said the near headteacher and her leadership team governing body “ have breathed new life into the school”.

The Fulwood school, for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties, was put in Special Measures by Ofsted in 2011 but climbed out to be rated satisfactory a year later.

The Satisfactory grade was scrapped and the school was deemed to Require Improvement in 2014.

The latest full inspection said the school requires improvement in three of the four assessed criteria with the effectiveness of leadership and management rated good.

Badly behaved pupils were largely to blame for the school failing to meet expectations.

Inspectors said: “Until recently, the pace of improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment had been slow.

“This was because previous school leaders were focusing more on the behaviour of pupils rather than their learning.”

Staff morale is now high and, said inspectors, there is a clear direction for change.

Headteacher Claire Thompson said: “While our grade has not changed, we are very pleased that the inspectors found real improvement and acknowledged that changes in how we do things are starting to have a real 
impact.

“Leadership and management is now rated as good and inspectors noted that challenging behaviour has reduced and the quality of teaching, support for learning and assessment is rapidly improving.

“As a new headteacher, it was particularly encouraging that the inspectors agreed that we have a clear sense of direction for change. While the report is heartening, we know that we still have a lot of work to do and I’m confident that as we work together we can continue to improve.”