Academy Trust

Exmouth Community College
Chair’s Update

Minutes of past Governors Meetings can be found on the Governance Page

Margaret Turgoose,

Chair of Governors

In response to Ofsted Report Autumn 2017

4 December 2017

Dear Parent / Carer

As you will be aware the College was inspected by Ofsted on the 7th and 8th November 2017. You will see that on this occasion we have received a judgement of “Requires Improvement” overall but “Good” for Post-16 provision and “Good” for student behaviour.

The inspection team’s full report will be published on Tuesday 5th December 2017 and can be found on the Ofsted website by clicking here.

While the report details the areas where we need to make improvements, I would like to assure you that we are already taking action to ensure that those areas in need of further development are being addressed. The inspectors said that they could see evidence of good teaching and assessment within the College, however they were not confident that this was consistent in all areas. They did recognise that we have achieved consistently good results in Mathematics, Religious Education and Art for many years and it was particularly pleasing that they judged the teaching and results in our Post 16 provision to be “Good”. They also said that, throughout the College, our teachers are “well motivated” and that they have “a deep understanding of their subject”. They were also very positive about the work in the Discovery Stream, REACH Centre and Careers Education and Guidance. In addition, they also noted that “Teachers are well motivated. They have welcomed the new principal’s recent initiatives to improve the quality of teaching”.

As a College we have, for many years, been very proud of the behaviour of our students and the report confirms this by commenting: “the behaviour of pupils is good…pupils conduct themselves well…. the school is calm and orderly....staff have high expectations of behaviour”.

We are, of course, very disappointed with this judgement, but accept that it is based primarily on the fact that, over the past three years, our GCSE results have not been as good as they were in 2014. You may be aware that performance at GCSE is now primarily measured  in terms of the amount of progress students make across eight subjects, rather than the percentage who achieve five GCSEs with a grade between A*- C including English and Mathematics, as it was in the past. We are in the process of making changes to the curriculum which ensures that students, particularly lower ability and disadvantaged students, follow a curriculum which allows them to make more progress.

The inspection team made it clear that they believe that Mr Davis, the new Principal, is already having a positive impact on the areas which need to improve; “the new Principal has rapidly established a shared understanding among staff of what needs to be done to bring about improvement. He has a clear vision for the future of the school, which is shared by senior leaders. Development plans are now clearly focused on improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment” and they recognised that, given he has only been in post since September, “it is too early to see the result of the action that is now being taken”.

There are many activities within the College which Ofsted are not required to consider when making their report. We remain both proud of, and committed to, the range of activities and opportunities we offer to all our students which, we strongly believe, enrich their education; from dance and drama productions to sporting events and a wide variety of trips.

Nevertheless, we fully recognise that there are areas where we need to improve. It is clear that we need greater consistency in the quality of our teaching so that all students have the opportunity to progress well. As a Governing Board, we are determined to fulfil our role effectively to support the Principal and his team in making the changes that are needed. We have every confidence that they have the vision and the capability to succeed, so that when Ofsted come back in two years’ time they will consider the College to be at least “Good” if not better.

Yours faithfully

Margaret Turgoose

Chair of the Governing Board