A Calderdale school placed in special measures by Government inspectors has vowed to turn things around.

Senior staff at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School have insisted things will improve when the new term starts next month.

The school is not good enough, according to Ofsted.

Government inspectors have graded the 1,465-pupil secondary school as Inadequate in all areas and placed it in special measures.

The inspection was the first one since the school converted to an academy on August 1, 2011. The previous school was rated as Good.

Inspectors particularly condemned the deterioration of standards over the last two years.

But headteacher Helen Morgan and her colleagues have pledged to turn things around.

In a statement they said: “Following the inspection, our goal is to ensure that the positive ethos that is evident at HLHS manifests itself into a culture of high achievement for all students from their different starting points.

“We recognise that there are many challenges that lie ahead in terms of achieving this and by working together, we are confident that we can make a real difference to the lives of the young people at our school.

“We are pleased that the report acknowledges the contribution made by Sixth Form students and the pride our students have in themselves and their support for our school. This highlights that there is much to build upon in our improvement journey.

Hipperhome and Lightcliffe High School headteacher Helen Morgan
 

“The inspection has given our school a real lever for rapid and sustained improvement and recent changes to the leadership of the school, the pastoral system and the curriculum are beginning to have a real impact. Our absolute focus moving forward is to improve the quality of teaching and learning for our students so that they enjoy school and achieve highly”.

In their damning report, the five Ofsted inspectors criticised all areas of the school, stating: “Students make inadequate progress in English, mathematics, science and geography by the end of Key Stage 4. Boys, those supported by pupil premium funding and the most able students are underachieving particularly in these subjects.

“The quality of teaching is inadequate. Teachers expectations are low, as a result students underachieve. “Weak teaching leads to students lacking interest in their work with some misbehaving.

“Additional government funding to support students eligible for the pupil premium has not been used effectively. These students make slow progress, are absent too often and are excluded from school too frequently.

“Attendance is also consistently low for those students with special educational needs. Too many students are late for the start of the school day. Consequently, behaviour and safety are inadequate”.