A secondary which could be converted into an all-through school with a primary on a combined site to tackle a places black hole in Yorkshire’s biggest city has launched a council-backed appeal against an “inaccurate” Ofsted judgement.
In a report published by the schools watchdog today, inspectors have rated Allerton Grange, in Leeds, as ‘requires improvement’, despite acknowledging that results have “improved dramatically” since its previous ‘good’ rating in 2012.
Its leadership team, supported by Leeds City Council, believes Ofsted has failed in its duty to make accurate judgements about the current high standards in the school and the rapid progress it is making. The school says it has since been widely recognised that Allerton Grange has undergone “significant improvements”, successfully raising standards in all areas, following the appointment of headteacher Mike Roper in 2015.
It believes Ofsted has focused too greatly on performance prior to this and has judged the school on progress across five years, rather than on the dramatic improvement of the past two years.
Mr Roper said: “We know this is a good school and that is why, with the support of Leeds City Council, we are challenging this.
“We were surprised. Throughout the two days the lead inspector made no reference to any other judgement other than ‘good’.
“We are determined to see this inaccurate judgement overturned as quickly as possible.”
Andrew Eastwood, the council’s head of learning improvement and children’s services, said the authority was disappointed with the report, believing it presented an overly negative view of the school.
He said: “We are pleased, however, that it does acknowledge the obvious improvements which have taken place in the school. Pupil attendance, behaviour, progress in maths and English, progress of the more able students and current progress in the majority of subjects are all much better.”
It comes just days after a consultation ended on controversial plans to make Moor Allerton Hall Primary School and the nearby Allerton Grange School an all-through school on one combined site. The proposal, which would create an additional 60 new reception places each year from next September, could replace plans for a new free school in the Roundhay area.
Mr Roper, who confirmed the school was in support of the plans, added: “Parents in Roundhay should not be worried by this report.”
An Ofsted spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we received a complaint from Allerton Grange about their recent inspection report. We take all complaints seriously and consider them carefully. We are unable to comment further at this stage.
“It is important to note that published performance information is only one of a number of pieces of evidence that inspectors consider when coming to an overall judgement about outcomes.”