‘Progress is among the worst in the UK’: St Helens school placed in special measures

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A St Helens secondary school has been placed into special measures after a damning Ofsted report.

St Augustine’s High was branded inadequate by inspectors from the education watchdog.

The school was given the lowest possible rating in the four main categories of leadership, teaching, personal development and outcomes from pupils.

Based in Boardman Lane, Parr, the school was rated good after its last inspection in 2015.

Its latest report highlighted “fragile” leadership and said progress in key stage four English, maths and science was among the worst in the UK.

Inspectors also said there had been a “significant decline” in the school’s education and leaders had “unwittingly create a climate of low aspirations and expectations”.

Leaders, they said, had “lower aspirations for the attendance of disadvantaged pupils” which “does not promote equality of opportunity”.

They also said leaders “do not measure and evaluate the effectiveness of their actions” and therefore “do not understand whether their actions have made a difference”.

One-fifth of pupils were regularly absent and many who do attend “do not understand how to be successful learners”.

It is another blow for St Helens’ ailing secondary system, which is regularly named as among the worst in the country.

Previous council leader Barrie Grundewald had drawn together a taskforce to make recommendations to improve secondary education but the body has so far not reported any finding.

Conversely, primary education remains strong, with results and Ofsted reports continuing to improve.