Ofsted says Huddersfield school is 'improving' and has 'high expectations' - but some pupils don't turn up

A Huddersfield school has 'high expectations' of all pupils and most behave well - but some miss out because they don't turn up.

Ofsted inspectors have praised Netherhall Learning Campus High School in Rawthorpe, Huddersfield, although the school is still rated overall as 'Requires Improvement' which has not changed since a 2022 inspection.

Since then, the school's leadership has been changed at all levels while the curriculum has been reviewed and changed. Following an inspection in May, Ofsted said: "Netherhall Learning Campus High School is an improving place to learn. Pupils feel safe. Most pupils are happy to be in school but some do not attend as often as they should."

Read More: Hygiene inspector finds 11 filthy areas and a 'foul smell' at Yorkshire Burger King

The report added: "Pupils enjoy their lessons and want to do well. There are also lots of opportunities outside of the classroom for pupils too. The school has high expectations of all pupils. Most pupils respond well to these expectations. Pupils behave very well in their lessons.

"The school has worked hard to improve lessons so the order in which they are taught makes sense to pupils. Leaders are doing their best to make sure pupils get the best possible experiences. There is support for pupils to help them to reach their learning goals. For some pupils, more support is needed. Some pupils lack confidence when they are asked to explain their learning and remember important knowledge."

Around the school, pupils generally know how to behave, "but in places where staff supervision is light, a minority of pupils sometimes forget what is expected of them".

Ofsted said the curriculum changes helped pupils to remember important knowledge, but added: "However, in some subjects, the number of lessons per week make it difficult to cover the content to the necessary depth. Teachers check pupils’ understanding regularly. This helps pupils to recall important knowledge. Even so, in some subjects, some pupils struggle to recall learning which is not so recent."

On the subject of pupil absences, Ofsted said: "Most pupils attend this school regularly. However, some pupils miss out too much on learning because of regular absences. Although the school reacts to this, improvements in attendance rates are slow over time."

Inspectors were impressed with pupil behaviour, commenting: "Behaviour around the school, and in lessons, is calm and orderly. Pupils know there are clear routines to follow and they adhere to them."

Get all the latest and breaking Huddersfield news straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter here.

Pupils' wider development is a strength of the school, Ofsted said. There are lots of extra and high-quality curricular activities during breaktimes, lunchtimes and after school, with many pupils getting involved.

Governors now hold school leaders to account more effectively and have a better understanding of the school's strengths and areas for development. Ofsted concluded: "There is more work to do by the school to make sure that leaders know the school as well as they can.

"Leaders’ actions are sometimes reactive rather than proactive. This is because quality assurance activities do not inform the school’s self-evaluation as accurately as they should. This has limited the speed of change. Consequently, the school’s overall effectiveness is not yet good."

The school was rated Good in three areas - behaviour, personal development, and sixth form provision. Overall it was rated as Requires Improvement.

Ofsted made a number of recommendations to the school for improvements. The school caters for pupils aged 11 to 19 and has 810 pupils on the roll, of which 105 are sixth formers. The principal is Michael Kent.