Brentwood: Shenfield High School told by Ofsted it must improve

Shenfield High School has been told it must improve to avoid going into special measures.

The latest Ofsted inspection showed improvements needed to be made in all areas including the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and its leadership and management.

The report said students do not make enough good progress in English and maths and there are variations in students’ progress across other subjects.

Inspectors said the assessment, including the marking of students’ work was too variable, and the “infrequency and sometimes poor quality” of marking meant students did not know how to improve their work.

Some parents, staff and students expressed concerns about the behaviour of students within the school, which were described as “boisterous or defiant”.

It added: “Teaching is not consistently good in raising achievement because the work does not always stretch all students to do as well as they could do; leaders and governors have not yet consistently secured good progress across the school.”

It went on to say: “Too much teaching still requires improvement and some is inadequate.” It said teachers “talk for too long”, which slowed the pace of lessons down, expectations were too low and teaching assistants were not deployed effectively.

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But the headteacher, Carole Herman, was praised for providing good leadership and inspectors said: “She has taken decisive action and implemented a range of systems and initiatives that are beginning to drive and accelerate the improvements in behaviour, the quality of teaching and leadership and management.

“These successes demonstrate the school’s capacity to improve, but there is still much to be done.”

They added: “Students enjoy coming to the school. Good care is provided for the students. The provision of sport and drama is very strong. There is a wide range of enrichment activities, particularly in these areas. Students make some good contributions to the school and to the local community.”