What Inspectors Said About Preston School Academy In Yeovil After Being Ranked ‘Needs Improvement’


A high school in Yeovil has been told it needs to improve for the second time in two years after a recent inspection.

Preston School Academy was rated ‘for improvement’ by Ofsted inspectors after carrying out a full inspection in June.

It was found that the school’s management, teaching quality and student performance were all below expectations.

The academy, which educates more than 950 local children, was urged to improve by inspectors after a similar visit in June 2017, but inspectors found last month that the required improvement had not been made.

Somerset Live contacted the school and principal Gregg Morrison to comment on the inspection.

Last year, Preston School Academy narrowly missed being on a government blacklist for underperforming schools.

Gregg Morrison, Principal of Preston School Academy

During its last inspection, Ofsted found that “a legacy of underperformance” holds children back in school.

Inspectors said disadvantaged students and those with special needs do not do well compared to national statistics.

They singled out school leaders for failing to ensure standards are high enough and governors for “too generous a vision of school improvement.”

Despite this, the inspectors pointed out that the school had made some improvements and added that the behavior of the students is excellent and the personal development of the children is good.

What did the inspectors say?

Inspectors identified the following issues as the reasons for the school’s latest “needs improvement” rating:

  • Leaders have yet to ensure that the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is always high enough.
  • The results must be improved because the results, even if they improve, are not certain. Some groups of students struggle to overcome a legacy of underachievement.
  • The subject’s leadership is not always effective. This results in variations in the quality of teaching and in student achievement within and between subjects.
  • The assessment by the leaders of the strengths and weaknesses of the school lacks rigor. This means that they are not always precise enough in identifying specific actions that need to be taken in order to improve results.
  • Disadvantaged students and those with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND) perform less well than others at the national level and have done so over time.
  • Governors take an overly generous view of improving the school since the last inspection.
  • Recent changes, including significant changes in staff, have generated a strong capacity for improvement, but they have not had time to have a significant impact on the lack of progress made by many students.

However, positive points were identified by the inspectors:

  • It is a school that is improving. The principal raised the expectations of staff and students. He has improved the quality of teaching at the school since taking office.
  • The behavior of the pupils in the courtyards and around the school site is excellent. They are proud of their school, wear their uniform with pride and respect the school environment.
  • The program is well suited to the needs of the students and effectively combined with good career guidance. All students progress to courses, training or learning after 16 years that meet their needs and aspirations.
  • The personal development of the students is good. They are tolerant and respectful of one another and eager to participate in school life by participating in sporting and community events.

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