Action plan drawn up following inspection at Berwickshire High School

Steps are already being taken to make improvements at Berwickshire High School following an Education Scotland inspection report.

By Ian Smith
Wednesday, 24 April, 2019, 10:53
Berwickshire High School

During their visit to the school in February, a team of inspectors talked to parents, carers and young people and worked closely with the headteacher and his staff.

Inspectors found a number of strengths in the school’s work, with particular mention for the enhanced provision department which was found to be very effective in meeting the needs of young people with severe and complex additional support needs.

They also found that highly personalised learning and teaching was engaging young people successfully and supporting them to attain and achieve and that staff had a clear, shared vision, based on promoting independence, social inclusion, healthy attitudes and positive behaviours.

The well-designed school facilities, supported by a striking outdoor setting, was noted to be offering strong opportunities to develop creative learning activities across the school.

However, areas for improvement were also identified and these are currently being addressed.

Headteacher, John Clarke, said: “We are disappointed with the inspection outcome and how this reflects on the fantastic young people in our care.

“We have taken swift action to address a number of the priorities and have a strong plan for working with stakeholders over the coming months to ensure further improvements are made, and at pace.”

Berwickshire High Parent Council Chair, Fiona Morris, added: “As a Parent Council we will continue to support our school’s efforts to address the issues raised in the report. We fully support the leadership team and the staff, and are encouraged by changes that have already taken place.”

Since the inspection, the school has introduced a range of new systems and structures to more effectively support learners and to ensure a calm, purposeful learning environment for pupils and staff.

Recent changes include:

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· the introduction of a Wellbeing Hub for those pupils on individualised timetables

· the reinstatement of the Pupil Council to ensure learners have a forum for supporting school improvement

· the introduction of a Leadership Academy for middle leaders and aspiring leaders

· introduction of an increased number of curriculum courses for session 2019-20

· a detention system to help to respond to low-level disruption

· a formalised corridor and lunchtime supervision rota by staff

· planning with partners to develop a richer educational offer for those young people who require a different learning experience.

Leadership at all levels is also being improved across the school. This includes engaging all young people, parents and staff in reviewing the vision, values and aims to develop a strong identity, with clear attention given to the direction and expectations for the school.

A robust action plan has been drawn up and progress is being regularly monitored to ensure a positive change by the time the inspectors return in twelve months.

All staff are continuing their work to raise standards of attainment and provide wider opportunities for achievement to improve outcomes for young people.