• Leadership, teaching and pupil attendance are poor
  • Rapid turnover of senior staff has hindered progress
  • Governors also criticised
  • New head says he's confident of improvement

A YORK secondary school has been placed in special measures by Ofsted.

The schools inspectorate has deemed Canon Lee School "inadequate" and as a result the school has gone into special measures pending a series of monitoring inspections.

In the Ofsted report it states:

  • The overall effectiveness of the school has declined since the last inspection in June when it "required improvement". Leadership has not been successful in addressing the areas for improvement identified at the previous inspection
  • Pupils’ outcomes are inadequate. Weak progress over time, has led to low attainment by the end of Year 11 across a range of subjects including English and maths
  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is inadequate. Work set is insufficiently challenging and expectations of what pupils are capable of doing are too low
  • Pupils socialise well around school and there is a calm atmosphere. However, personal development, behaviour and welfare requires improvement as pupils’ attitudes to learning are variable and not contributing well to ensure good learning. Attendance is below average
  • Over time, governors have failed to hold leaders to account for ensuring that all groups of pupils achieve well enough
  • The school’s ability to improve is hindered by the lack of a permanent head teacher and the temporary status of key senior leaders. Subject leaders are not fully effective in their roles and the school is overly dependent on external support

>>> Read the report in full here

As The Press reported earlier this month, the Clifton school now shares an executive head teacher, Richard Crane, with the larger Joseph Rowntree School in New Earswick.

York Press:

Mr Crane, above right, took over after the inspection but before the report was published. The previous acting head, Frances Johnston, above left, is now associate head teacher of Canon Lee.

Canon Lee has about 517 pupils, and Joseph Rowntree about 1,200.

Mr Crane said: “Whilst the report is disappointing I know that the areas identified for development were areas that had been identified for improvement by the leadership of the school prior to the inspection.

"I have been really impressed by the way staff and students have responded to the challenge that the leadership team has set out for them over the last few weeks.

"We are focusing on ensuring that there is high quality teaching across the school, and that the expectation of high standards of behaviour for learning is met by all students.

"We are confident that as a team we can build upon the strengths of Canon Lee and improve the outcomes for learners in the future.”

Jon Stonehouse, director of education at City of York Council, said: “The report is disappointing but not a surprise as we have been working very closely with the school.

"We are confident that Richard Crane will provide the leadership to enable the school to move forward. The council will continue to work with Richard, the governors, school staff, parents and the young people themselves to ensure that the school makes the necessary progress.”