Governors and leaders of Ripon Cathedral Church of England School are working together with the local authority and the diocese as well as the Department for Education to ensure that the school swiftly returns to providing children with the highest standards of education.
Ofsted has placed the school in special measures because the pace of improvement has been too slow, although inspectors recognised that the headteacher is clear about the improvements that need to be made. A new Chair of Governors is now in place, and the school is working closely with the Diocese and the local authority to take the steps necessary to secure a rapid rise in children’s achievement and improvements to the quality of teaching and learning.
Ripon Cathedral is an award-winning school for its outdoor learning and environmental work and has received the Gold Artsmark award. It was one of the first schools in North Yorkshire to be awarded the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard for championing race equality. It is well regarded in Ripon for its wider community involvement.
In order for children to enjoy the fully-rounded education they deserve, the local authority and diocese are now supporting the school’s leadership to develop a rigorous curriculum which promotes the highest standards of literacy and numeracy. They have also established a partnership between Ripon Cathedral and Knaresborough St John’s Church of England primary, St John’s has already provided effective support for other schools in respect of leadership and developing the quality of teaching.
County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools said:
We are meeting with all parties to look at best options to address the issues identified by Ofsted. The school is very popular and Ofsted acknowledges that children enjoy coming to the school. We must all now work together with some speed to ensure the highest standards are met.
Richard Noake, the school’s chair of governors said:
As both chair and a parent of children in the school I am disappointed by this judgement but also determined to work with governors to provide the right balance of support, monitoring and challenge to the leadership and staff of the school and to address all key targets in the Ofsted report. We do not underestimate the task in front of us but we are determined that with the support of all partners: school; local authority; diocese, parents and most importantly, the children, we will quickly become a very good school.
Clive Sedgewick, Director of Education for the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds said:
It is recognised that the school has strengths and successes. The Diocesan Education Team and local authority officers will work with the staff and governors to bring about rapid development in those areas of the school which need to improve: this process is already well under way.