Rawmarsh School pupils affected by strike, says Ofsted

INSPECTORS say strike action by teachers at Rawmarsh Community School has “inevitably had some effect on learing.”

INSPECTORS say strike action by teachers at Rawmarsh Community School  has “inevitably had some effect on learing.”

Ofsted has given the school and overall rating of satisfactory after inspectors visited at the end of last month when about 40 staff were involved in walkouts over proposed 25 per cent cuts in teaching posts.

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Parents raised concerns about how the strike action—temporarily halted by the NUT last week—would impact on students’ learning.

Inspector Robert Jones said other worries were over behaviour and how well the school was helping youngsters lead healthy lifestyles.

He added: “The inspection team investigated these issues carefully. They found that industrial action had inevitably had some effect on learning but that the school was taking action to minimise the impact of strikes, particularly on Year 11.

“Some of the measures taken included providing Internet accessible learning materials for students to work through at home, creating revision sessions at weekends and during school holidays and  instituting lessons and masterclasses given by visiting speakers in various subjects.”

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Ofsted said there were significant strengths in classroom learning, countered by inconsistencies in teaching quality.

Teaching in specialist subject PE is “consistently good” and reflected in students’ achievements.

Mr Jones said: “Assessment in the classroom is a strength across the school, particularly in the way that students are given opportunities to learn from assessing their own and each other’s work. “However, the quality of marking varies. It is strong in English where very precise advice is given with time allocated in lessons for students to review, reflect and comment on the advice given. In other subjects though, marking lacks this level of sharpness.”

The school’s senior team, including head teacher Stuart Wilson, was described by inspectors as leading with energy and ambition.

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Mr Jones said: “They have driven improvements in the quality of teaching and learning which in turn are driving up students’ attainment.

“Weaknesses do remain, but good quality plans identify precisely how these are to be remedied.

“For example, school leaders are aware that the current 100-minute lesson is too long for many students and that the 30 minutes per day devoted to tutorial work is not generally well used.”