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  • "This is a school that requires improvement. It is not good because:

    The proportion of students attaining five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including English and mathematics, has not improved rapidly enough over the last few years. The most able students do not always make the progress that they are capable of in all subjects.

    The sixth form requires improvement. Students do not make rapid enough progress on AS courses. Retention rates are low and changes to the courses on offer have not yet had an impact on results.

    Teaching in the sixth form is not consistently good. As a result, students do not make good progress.

    The quality of teachers’ marking varies too much. Students’ responses are not always checked to make sure that they understand the work.

    The work of senior and subject leaders has not yet resulted in good achievement for all students, particularly those in the sixth form.

    What does the school need to do to improve further?

    Accelerate the improvements in teaching, particularly in the sixth form, so that all groups of students make at least good progress by:

    setting work at the right level of difficulty for each student with enough challenge, particularly for the most able students improving the quality of marking and feedback to that of the best in the academy so all students know how well they are doing and what they have to do to improve their work, as well as being given time to respond to teachers’ guidance making sure that there are more opportunities for students to learn independently.

    Improve the sixth form, including retention rates, quality of provision and students’ outcomes by making sure that the courses on offer fully meet students’ needs and that teaching is consistently good.

    Improve leadership and management at all levels by ensuring that: all subject leaders consistently and robustly analyse and accurately evaluate the impact of teaching on students’ achievement and progress from their starting points.

    The head Principals reaction to the recommendations in the Ofsted report is to kick out those sixth form students who have not make good progress and have been adversely affected by mismanagement and poor teaching.

    Blame and punish the students for the failings identified by Ofsted."
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'Students kicked out of Highcrest because pass grades would made it look bad'

Bucks Free Press: 'Students kicked out of Highcrest because pass grades would made it look bad' 'Students kicked out of Highcrest because pass grades would made it look bad'

PARENTS have claimed their children were thrown out of Highcrest’s Sixth Form because their predicted pass grades would ‘not look good on the academy’.

Two parents approached the Free Press to say seven youngsters were told their Sixth Form place at Highcrest was being revoked because their grades were not of the required standard.

A parent, who did not wish to be named, said her 18-year-old son was on course for a pass mark and not the distinction Highcrest was looking for.

She said: “They are crushing the children's self confidence – if they’re on for a pass they should motivate them and say ‘you need to put in more’.

“They are wasting a child's whole year. They are not going to get in anywhere else at this stage of the school year - it's totally unfair.

“We asked why there hadn’t been a warning, as teachers are supposed to help them, and they used the words ‘it’s not good for the school’.

“I asked, so are they just numbers on a piece of paper to you then and not students you are supposed to help? They said ‘we can’t comment’.

"They're doing it to save their own skin and to make themselves look nice for Ofsted next year."

A 17-year-old student who had been kicked out of the academy said the snub has left her feeling ‘useless, broken and not wanted’.

The student, who also asked not to be named, is still fighting to reclaim her place but said she was shocked at the way she was treated by staff.

She said staff would not speak to her when she went up to the Hatters Lane-based academy to discuss the issue and later refused to change their mind despite not having an up-to-date report on her progress.

She added: “As dedicated individuals, we believe that no student should be asked to leave if they are underachieving - instead the school should support us and motivate us to get the grades required.

“Kicking Sixth Formers out will not help them make the school better [in the eyes of Ofsted].

“Highcrest tells its students that they are entering a place to succeed. Its mission statement is to ‘learn and achieve’ - but how can we do that if we are not given the chance?”

The BFP contacted Highcrest but it refused to confirm or deny the claims, stating: “We do not comment on individuals or small groups of students who may then be identifiable to the local community.

"Whatever actions we take are always in the best interests of individual students.”

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