‘Inadequate’ Thomas Whitehead CoE School not making enough progress


A Houghton Regis school rated as ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted at its last inspection has been told that it is making insufficent progress.

Thomas Whitehead Church of England School on Angels Lane received its low rating by the schools’ watchdog at an inspection in November 2015.

Key findings included pupils not achieving well enough, inadequate teaching and “overgenerous” standards of staff assessment.

A shorter inspection was made from May 10 to 11 this year to analyse progress of the school. On May 23, inspector Marianick Ellender-Gelé wrote her findings to headteacher Elaine Fairclough.

The inspector said that the school’s leadership was not taking effective action towards removing special measures.

She said: “Lack of accurate assessment is making the evaluation of teaching and learning unreliable.

“Work is not yet matched to pupils’ ability. The most able pupils in particular are not given work that develops their understanding further. When this is done well they are very excited to learn.”

Ms Ellender-Gelé also noted the school was not co-operating enough with its educational partners.

“The local authority lead adviser and the governing body ... challenged the school on several occasions and raised concerns about lack of performance information.

“The headteacher is responding too slowly and, at times, with insufficient precision, to their request.”

However, Ms Ellender-Gelé noted that the hiring of an extra part-time deputy head was adding strength to the school leadership, together with an “experienced” full-time deputy headteacher.

She added: “The school continues to be a calm and safe place to learn as reported in the previous inspection.

“Pupils are kind and relationships with adults are good.”

To read the school’s latest letter from Ofsted, click here.