West Craven High School

Name West Craven High School
Website http://www.westcraven.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Inadequate
Inspection Date 26 November 2019
Address Kelbrook Road, Barnoldswick, Lancashire, BB18 5TB
Phone Number 01282812292
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 599 (55% boys 45% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 21.3
Academy Sponsor Pendle Education Trust
Local Authority Lancashire
Percentage Free School Meals 13.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.2%
Persisitent Absence 16.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 12.7%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

The quality of education that pupils receive at this school is inadequate. Pupils have been badly affected by the high number of staffing changes.

Leaders do not have high enough expectations for pupils. Some pupils do not behave well. This disrupts the learning of others. Leaders do not ensure that pupils know what is acceptable and what is not.

Pupils believe that they are safe. However, pupils who are vulnerable to harm or neglect are at risk of slipping through the net because the school’s systems for keeping pupils safe are not watertight. Pupils told us that if bullying happens, leaders are slow to deal with it. Therefore, pupils resort to managing it themselves.

By the end of Year 11, pupils do not achieve well in the courses that they have studied. Published data shows that pupils do not make good progress during their time at the school.

Pupils enjoy opportunities to engage in community and charitable activities. Pupils receive effective careers guidance. This supports them well with their next steps in education, training or employment.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders at all levels, including trustees and governors, have not ensured that pupils experience an acceptable quality of education. The trust has not provided this school with the strong leadership that it has required. There has been a lack of clarity about leadership roles and responsibilities. This has had a negative impact on staff and pupils.

Leaders are only at a very early stage in developing an ambitious curriculum that makes clear to teachers what pupils need to know, remember and be able to do. Many pupils have not covered the subject content that they should have. They find it difficult to take on challenging ideas because they do not have the building blocks in place to deepen their knowledge and understanding. This means that pupils have big gaps in their learning. Consequently, they struggle to succeed in external examinations.In key stage 3, pupils told us that they have too many teachers teaching some subjects. They said that they find this confusing, particularly in mathematics, because the teachers teach different topics. This means that the work is not sequenced in a way that helps pupils to learn effectively.

Teachers do not routinely make clear to pupils what it is important to remember in the lesson and over time. Teachers miss opportunities to rectify common errors and check and revisit key learning points. Pupils do not know how to use their exercise books as a touchstone for future recall. Teachers do not routinely think about howbest to help pupils organise their learning.

Pupils frequently show negative attitudes to their learning. When teachers ask pupils to work independently or in pairs, many pupils waste time, go off task and chat to their peers. Too often, this behaviour goes unnoticed by the teacher. Leaders do not make it clear to staff how to manage behaviour. This means that staff do not feel supported and they feel undervalued. Pupils say that the behaviour of some of their peers stops them from learning.Leaders’ efforts to improve pupils’ attendance since the last inspection have not been successful. Pupils’ overall attendance remains low.Pupils have the opportunity to be involved in a range of activities to support their character development. For example, they participate in schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Prince’s Trust. Pupils also contribute to local charity events.

Pupils receive effective careers information, advice and guidance. They experience a wide range of learning opportunities about further education and the world of work. In 2019, all Year 11 pupils went on to further education, training or employment.Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well looked after. The special educational needs coordinator identifies and assesses their needs well and is ambitious for them. That said, teachers do not consistently factor in their needs when planning lessons.

Leaders and governors have an accurate view of the quality of education and behaviour in the school. They are under no illusion about how far they need to travel to become a good school again.


The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective.

The systems for keeping pupils safe are confusing. There are too many ways of communicating safeguarding concerns. This increases the risk of a pupil slipping through the net. The current designated safeguarding lead works part time and is not a member of the senior leadership team. This does not meet the statutory requirements. Pupils understand different types of bullying, but are reluctant to talk to staff if they are worried or unhappy. Pupils say that leaders and teachers are slow to deal with their issues, so they often resort to managing them themselves or turn to their parents for support.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Systems for communicating safeguarding concerns are confusing. Leaders have not made sure that statutory requirements related to safeguarding are fully met. This puts vulnerable pupils at risk of not getting the support that they need. Leaders must take urgent action to address these safeguarding weaknesses so that arrangements for keeping pupils safe are effective. . The curriculum is not planned and implemented well, particularly in key stage 3. The way that the curriculum is sequenced, and the way the teaching is designed, does not help pupils to know more and remember more. Leaders must urgently tackle these endemic weaknesses in the curriculum so that it meets the needs of all pupils. . Pupils have too many gaps in their knowledge, understanding and skills to succeed in their examinations. In recent years, the progress that pupils have made has been far lower than that of others nationally. This includes pupils who are disadvantaged and those with SEND. Leaders must take action to improve the quality of education to secure improvement to pupils’ academic outcomes by the end of Year 11. . Leaders and teachers do not manage pupils’ behaviour well. Leaders do not make it clear to staff the routines that pupils should follow. This means that poor behaviour and attitudes often go unnoticed. In too many lessons, poor behaviour disrupts learning. Leaders should establish high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Leaders should support staff in applying these high expectations and help them to manage behaviour more effectively. . Some pupils do not have good attendance. This means that they are missing out on their learning. Leaders must continue to take action to ensure that all pupils attend school regularly. . The trust’s actions have not been successful in providing pupils with an acceptable quality of education in recent years. Staff and pupils do not understand what is expected of them. This prevents the school from running effectively on a day-to-day basis. Trust leaders must take immediate action to ensure that there are clear leadership roles and lines of accountability in the school, so that pupils are able to receive a good quality of education.