Following an inspection on the 3rd and 4th of March the school was graded Requires Improvement by Ofsted.
We are determined to deliver the highest standard of education for all of our students, and the inspection report clearly lays out the areas that we know we need to improve in to achieve this.
In last year’s (2019) GCSE exam results both our English and maths GCSE results were above the national all schools average. Every Vale student’s performance increased on average by almost half a grade in each subject compared to 2017-2018 results, and we have seen that progress continue in the mock exams taken this year before lockdown.
Since the inspector’s visit we have received the confirmation of the numbers of children applying to join us next year. These are our highest ever. In fact, for 2020, we’ve agreed to take an addition ten children above our pupil admission number because of the high demand for places at Vale.
The Inspectors highlighted areas of our curriculum that we need to strengthen. We have already taken their recommendations on board and are working to strengthen in the areas they identified. They recognised where the improvements we have already put in place are producing results for students, but we are focussed on improving faster and ensuring that Vale students experience an outstanding and enjoyable education.
Inspectors found that “There are clear signs that leaders, governors and trustees have begun to address some of the issues that have prevented pupils from learning better. Parents and carers have greater confidence in the school. Nearly four fifths of parents who completed the Ofsted survey indicated that they would recommend the school to others.”
They spoke with pupils and groups of students in key stages 3 and 4, reporting that: “The pupils with whom we spoke said they are happy at Darwen Vale High School. They said that the school is a safe place to be. Older pupils told us that there have been many positive changes at the school since the previous inspection.”
You can read the full report at https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50151728