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‘Disappointing’ Ofsted for Guiseley School also affects Bradford secondary school

A school will end its work to help improve standards at one of Bradford’s biggest secondaries after it was itself told it needed to improve.

The latest Ofsted report into Guiseley School was released yesterday, and judged the school, which has over 1,300 pupils, to “require improvement.” At its last inspection in 2013, it was judged good.

The report has had a knock-on effect on Grange Technology College in Bradford – which has partnered with Guiseley since it was put in special measures following a highly-critical Ofsted report last year.

The schools had been working together to turn Grange’s fortunes around, with Guiseley deputy head Alison Mander becoming acting head of Grange. They had even announced plans to form a new academy trust together.

However, the latest Ofsted report for Guiseley has scuppered those plans, with the “support package” being offered by Guiseley now withdrawn and the planned academy trust scrapped.

A statement from Guiseley School said: “The school has retracted proposals to sponsor Grange Technology College and form a Multi?Academy Trust, withdrawing all existing school to school support.”

However, Miss Mander will remain as substantive headteacher at Grange. Ofsted inspectors visited Guiseley school in October, and their newly released report describes the school as “good” for its sixth form provision, but says it requires improvement in other areas.

It said teaching was “variable,” that persistent absence was “too high” and that progress made by disadvantaged students was “significantly below the national average.” Outcomes in the past summer’s exams were also criticised.

CEO of Grange, Dominic Wall, thanked Guiseley for its work, and added: “I am delighted that Miss Mander has agreed to join our staff team and confirm her place as the permanent Headteacher of Grange Technology College; her energy and enthusiasm is infectious as the students and staff have demonstrated through improved performance in this summer’s exams.

“There is still a long way for Grange to travel on the road to full recovery, but we feel confident that the school’s direction of travel under Miss Mander’s leadership will continue to be a positive one.”

Paul Clayton, head of Guiseley, said: “The school is disappointed with the outcome of the inspection. We do not feel that the report reflects the strengths of the school or recognises enough the plans in place to improve outcomes. However, the school leadership also recognises the need to move forward swiftly with its school improvement agenda. As a result of the inspection outcome, the process of forming a Multi-Academy Trust with Grange has come to an end. We wish Alison Mander and her team at Grange every success for the future whilst Guiseley School’s Governing body and Leadership team will be focusing all their resources on school improvement at Guiseley.”

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