Keith Grammar showing improvement – but slowed by staff changes

IMPORTANT IMPROVEMENT HAVE been achieved by a Moray secondary school – marking its recovery from a negative inspection report carried out over a year ago.

The follow-up report on Keith Grammar School says that a “high level of commitment” to improving outcomes for young people has been demonstrated.

However, the Education Scotland inspectors added that staffing changes would continue to slow down any further improvements.

In November 2015 inspectors highlighted five areas of performance that were rated as satisfactory – but, crucially, two were rated as ‘weak’. Tuesday’s report on the return visit by inspectors said the school had reviewed interdisciplinary learning in S1 and S2 – with the aim of providing more opportunities for pupils to apply their knowledge and develop skills for life and work.

In S3, new courses were available in areas such as science, modern languages and technology.
The report said: “Staff are continuing to make important improvements to the curriculum to support young people to make better progress in their learning.

“Young people now have the opportunity to experience learning to an appropriate level in all areas of the curriculum. This is providing a wider range of pathways into S4 and courses leading to qualifications.”

It added that young people at the school were more engaged with a life skills programme which was providing increased relevance and depth to their learning.

It continued: “The school has an appropriate improvement plan for the current session. Across the school staff are working to take forward aspects of this plan. They show a high level of commitment to improving outcomes for young people. However, staffing changes are likely to impact negatively on this work.”

The inspectors found that important steps had been taken which had led to improvements in attainment, including raised attainment in S4 and in literacy and numeracy for all those leaving school.

However, improvements in attainment were still needed in S5 and S6.

The inspectors said: “The school needs to continue to improve aspects of its work, including the consistency of the quality of learning and teaching in order to raise attainment for all young people.

“The school has made progress since the original inspection and taken forward some important improvements. The school now needs time to evaluate these changes to ensure outcomes for young people are continuing to improve.”