Encouragement for Bexhill High Academy from Ofsted Inspectors

BEXHILL High is judged to be making “reasonable progress” towards the removal of Special Measures following its fourth HMI inspection.

Interim Principal Andy Mortimer said: “This is the best message of reassurance we can send to everyone within the Bexhill community - that Bexhill High is getting better, a lot better.

“It should serve as the strongest indication yet that we are on the way up and hopefully will be out of Special Measures next year.”

The inspectors reported on a number of areas - achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and quality and leadership of management.

They say students’ progress continues to accelerate, notably in Year 11 who have completed their examinations, reflecting the extra support provided. However progress among younger year groups is improving less rapidly.

Improvements in teaching have been consolidated but the pace needs to quicken. Teachers’ expectations of students continue to rise and more lessons are planned with levels of challenge matched to students’ differing ability. Teachers’ management of lessons is improving.

Support for students who are disabled or have special educational needs is improving in mainstream classes with additional adults deployed more effectively. Nevertheless, there remain too many instances of these students and students of lower ability not receiving the support they need.

Marking is improving steadily.

Students’ attitudes to learning remain largely positive with most ready to learn and sustain focus.

Around the site the large majority of students behave well, but a few instances of inappropriate behaviour were observed, including some bad language.

Good work by staff is improving attendance, particularly among students supported by the pupil premium. Overall attendance remains below the national average.

The Interim Principal and the Head of School have sustained staff morale and kept the focus on teaching while dealing with changes in the senior leadership team, sponsorship arrangements and the building. Middle leadership is improving, with subject leaders more engaged in monitoring teaching and students’ progress.

Report is on OFSTED website.