The school have ended the year with another woeful report from Ofsted that leaves them still in special measures.
But the school, under new ownership through the Academy Transformation Trust, will start the new academic year in September, hoping to literally transform itself.
Many are hopeful that the new principal, Corinne Franchesci, will weave the magic that saw her so popular and effective at both Gable Hall in Corringham and Harris Academy in Bromley.
Mrs Franchesci has a particular style that is calm, collected but very distinctive. Her mentor, John King MBE was a former head of German at Mark Hall and they will not doubt discuss what is needed in order to put the school, back where it belongs.
The Ofsted report does not make for pretty reading and many people in the town, are still bewildered at how the school that produced Oxbridge students and sporting leaders by the bucketload in the sixties seventies and eighties ended up as the “sink school of Harlow”
Among the criticisms are:
1. Students’ progress has not been fast enough since the inspection in November 2012.
Inaccuracies in the school data were identified after the last monitoring inspection,
and the anticipated improvement in the number of the current Year 11 students
gaining five A* to C grades including English and mathematics is much less than
This has also called into question the accuracy of the information
about the progress made by students in other year groups. The current information
suggests that standards are rising in English, including reading, and mathematics,
but too slowly.
2. In lessons, too few students make good progress because teaching is not always
good enough. Too often work is not adapted to help students who have special
educational needs, or are at an early stage of learning English, to learn well.
Similarly, the students who are capable of working at higher levels are not always
given enough challenge. They are often expected to do more of the same level of
work given to other students in the lesson, rather than tackling harder questions
that require more problem solving and thought.
3.The management of behaviour remains very inconsistent. Although fixed-term
exclusions have dropped, the school is still not using a productive enough range of
strategies to reduce them further. Internal exclusions when students are required to
leave lessons are too frequent, and they are poorly monitored so leaders do not
know if this strategy is effective. Some students spend too much time in the room
used for internal exclusions, and are not expected to complete enough work. Very
recent efforts to improve the consistency with which detentions and other similar
sanctions are used have led to better and fairer use of the sanctions, although this is
still a long way from being consistent across the school.
Attendance remains low and too many students are persistently absent from school.
The figures have not changed since last year.
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