news

Mirfield parents and pupils hit back after "harsh" Ofsted report

Mirfield residents stand by heavily criticised Castle Hall Academy

Castle Hall Academy, Mirfield.

Parents and pupils have leapt to the defence of a school which was lambasted by government inspectors.

Castle Hall Academy was last week rated “Inadequate” by watchdog Ofsted following an inspection last November.

Despite achieving above average GCSEs, the Mirfield school was highly criticised by inspectors.

They said teachers’ expectations of pupils were not high enough, bullying was going unreported, attendance levels were poor, behaviour in class was not up to scratch and careers advice was ineffective.

And they cast doubt on the ability of principal Andy Pugh and other senior staff to improve the school, commenting that they had “an over-generous view of how good teaching is”.

But on Facebook group, Mirfield Matters, residents have hit back.

Watchdog tells Kirklees school it is failing despite good GCSE results

Helen Daurge, said: “I can’t fault this school. They have bent over backwards for my kids to make sure they could reach their potential. My son attends now; he has additional needs and they’ve been fantastic with making sure he gets every bit of help and support he needs.”

Rachel Duguid, said: “I whole heartedly 100% believe in this school and the dedicated staff who work there.

“My son attends Castle Hall in Year 9. I also teach there and know that this report does not reflect the school that we all know and love.”

Elizabeth Stephenson commented: “I had dealings with Ofsted and told them to look at my daughter’s planner, it is full of communications with teachers, positive quotes, recommendations etc...I find the report unbelievable – it’s like they are talking about another school.”

Head Andy Pugh and students at Castle Hall Academy, Mirfield

Ex-pupil, Isobel Housecroft, said: “An inadequate Castle Hall is not the Castle Hall I left in June 2016.

“As someone who is very nervous before exams, I can say that I received the best support for that and I came away with good grades that I’m proud of. Need I say anymore? Castle Hall may be inadequate according to Ofsted, but I certainly don’t think they fail students in the ways suggested.”

Mirfield's Castle Hall Academy is back to Good - it's official

James Fishwick, a current pupil at the academy, said he thought the report was “very harsh”.

He added: “The teachers are brilliant, they actually care and listen. If there is something wrong they will take the time to listen to you and then give you their voice and word of reason.”

Castle Hall principal Andy Pugh said the support from parents had been encouraging after meetings with parents were held about the Ofsted report.

He said: “One key comment made by a number of parents was that they had chosen Castle Hall as their child’s secondary school because of the academic curriculum we offer.”

He added: “Everyone understands how we need to improve rates of progress, and I am delighted that parents have shown their commitment to helping us in our action planning.”

View full mobile page