THE Isle of Wight Studio School was deemed to require improvement by Ofsted inspectors.

The school, which was visited by inspectors at the start of May, was found to be good for personal development, behaviour and welfare, but requires improvement for all other categories — effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and outcomes for pupils.

Inspectors said, although leaders are aware of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement, they have not been sufficiently self-critical of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

The assessment of the quality of these, and some other aspects of the school’s work, has been ‘over generous’.

Governors were said to have not effectively fulfilled their duties, with some required policies out of date, or not up to current requirements. They did not have a detailed enough understanding of the academic performance of different groups of pupils, which limited their ability to challenge leaders about the suitability of the curriculum.

Teaching activities did not challenge more able pupils, and students with special educational needs (SEN), and disabilities, did not make strong enough progress.

Pupils frequently complete the same work at the same time, using the same resources, which limited progress. In some cases, too little attention is given to addressing student’s misconceptions.

Aspects of the curriculum were not effectively planned, for example science, which did not provide sufficient coverage of all aspects of the GCSE curriculum.

Although pupils’ progress was still variable in English and mathematics, a higher proportion of pupils are on track to attain at least a grade 4 GCSE in both subjects this summer.

However, weak literacy skills prevent pupils from making faster progress. Poor spelling, punctuation and grammar are not consistently tackled by staff.

Since the school was established it has faced difficulty in recruiting staff to certain subject areas. Inspectors said this, combined with varying cohort sizes and large numbers of pupils joining the school with varying needs, has had a huge impact on the school.

Student recruitment issues led the school’s sixth form to close after one year however, inspectors said the school fostered strong and effective links with local colleges.

Pupils spoke highly of the school, and inspectors said they were ‘very loyal’ to the school. They value their education, and said there was little bullying of any kind.

Students left well prepared for the next steps in their education or apprenticeship.

Headteacher, Richard White, said: “We recognise that after only three full years since opening, there are further improvements to be made to ensure the school is consistently good and we will take rapid action to address issues identified.

“The inspectors made particular reference to the excellent relationships the school has created with families, businesses, the local Island community and other educational providers on the island.

“The Ofsted team also recognised our ability to prepare students for their next step in education or into an apprenticeship and that business leaders recognise the strengths that studio students have in terms of work ethos.

“I am very proud of my hard-working and committed team of staff who have the progress of every student at the heart of what they do.”

Inspectors visited the school a few weeks after Inspire Academy Trust, who run the school, announced its potential closure.

The south east regional schools commissioner said previously he will take into account the Ofsted report before a decision is made about closing the school.

In a letter, issued to parents, headteacher Mr White said he expects the final decision to be announced in the next few days.

You can read the full report here: Isle of Wight Studio School 10024493 final pdf (4) (1).pdf