AN under-performing high school has been urged to address vacancies in teaching posts to continue its 'quick' progress on turning things around.

Following an Ofsted inspection in November 2022, Winsford Academy has been rated as 'requires improvement'.

When the rating was published in January 2023, leaders at the Grange Lane school had already begun implementing an action plan to improve.

The education watchdog returned to the school on November 16 last year for a 'monitoring inspection' to report on the progress made.

And, while the inspector praised the school for acting quickly since its last inspection, areas requiring further action - such as teacher vacancies and pupil attendance - were identified.  

Louisa Rogers, the school's acting principal, said: “Receiving a requires improvement judgement from Ofsted was a very difficult moment for our school community, and one that gave us cause to reflect on where we could, and should, be doing better.

"With the full backing of The Fallibroome Trust we moved quickly to implement an improvement plan and I am pleased the recent monitoring inspection recognised in many areas that plan is beginning to work, and to date there are some very positive changes around the school.

"Going forward we will continue those positive steps with clear and continued focus on staff recruitment and retention, on student behaviour and for attendance.

"We will make sure parents and carers are aware of everything we are doing and keep lines of communication open to get feedback on our plans.

Northwich Guardian: The school is working towards a 'good' Ofsted rating The school is working towards a 'good' Ofsted rating (Image: Newsquest)

"We are moving forward positively to not only address the shortcomings that led to the Ofsted judgement, but also lay a foundation for becoming the kind of school Winsford needs to ensure our young people are properly equipped for the future."

In her report, the inspector suggested the school take further action to ensure 'the fragility in staffing is addressed so there is a consistent approach to the delivery of the new curriculums; frequently absent pupils attend regularly; staff adhere to the new behaviour policy; and pupils taken out of lessons are adequately supported to rejoin lessons in a timely manner.

She said: "The school, with the support of the trust, has acted quickly to tackle the shortcomings identified in the previous inspection.

"Despite the considerable changes in staffing, the school has maintained a clear focus on bringing about improvement, while remaining mindful of staff’s workload.

"The school improvement plan sets out clear and appropriate priorities. The trust and members of the local governing body are keeping a close overview of the school’s progress.

"This support and challenge is aiding the school’s work to provide a good standard of education."

Jeremy Spencer, CEO of The Fallibroome Trust - which the school is part of - said: “We all want the very best for Winsford Academy.

"This school is a work in progress for us and I am delighted that inspectors’ views align with our own, and acknowledge the rapid improvements that are being made.

"Great credit is due to the staff, governors and all involved. I would also like to mention the strong support from parents and the community.

"A number of parents have spoken with the school and Trust to share their views about how the school can improve further.

"We will continue to listen to these views and take actions to drive further improvements.

"The support of parents and the local community is essential if we are to see Winsford Academy achieve its full potential. As the saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child...'."