Batley school requires improvement

Batley Grammar School Headteacher Brigid Tullie. (d20041210)
Batley Grammar School Headteacher Brigid Tullie. (d20041210)

A school told it “requires improvement” after its first-ever Ofsted inspection has already made progress, its headteacher has said.

Batley Grammar School was visited by the education watchdog in January and the report said changes must be made.

The former private institution was told pupils had not made enough progress in English and teaching had not been consistently good enough in the secondary phase and the sixth form.

The school, which has been back in the state sector for just 18 months, was also told the opportunities for early years outdoor learning and music were limited.

Ofsted did hand Batley Grammar some positive feedback, including praise for the strong leadership from the headteacher and governors and described the primary level teaching and pupil behaviour as “good”.

Headteacher Brigid Tullie said: “The school has undergone some significant changes and with this brings a lot of challenges.

“The state sector is a different world from the from the independent sector as the progress is linked to targets.

“It is like going on a journey without a road map. You know where you are roughly going but do not have the exact route.

“I have no doubt if they visited us as an independent, it would have been a lot different but I am confident the school has progressed well.”

Batley Grammar has doubled the number of its pupils and it is now effectively a mixed-sex comprehensive since moving into the state sector.

The school is funded directly by the Government and was not previously subject to Ofsted inspections.

The report showed they were regarded as a brand new school rather than one with a history dating back to 1612.

It also stated January was too early to fully judge the impact of the changes.

Mrs Tullie and chairman of governors David Peel published a letter on the school’s website explaining the results from the report.

It stated: “The Ofsted inspectors acknowledged that there had been effective action taken by both governors and leadership to bring about the significant changes involved in expanding the school and moving it from the independent to the state sector.

“So you will understand when we say that we are pleased with the school’s development in these early stages of our journey, and are assured that we are heading in the right direction with accelerated progress towards our targets.”