SINCE being put into special measures in February, the progress of a failing Poole secondary school has been judged inadequate by Ofsted.

Ashdown Technology College , where work is currently underway on a £15million revamp, underwent its first monitoring inspection under interim headteacher Ian Cox in early July.

The school on Canford Heath takes pupils aged 12 to 18 and has 647 pupils in the main school, which the inspection concentrated on, and a sixth form of 44.

Ofsted inspector James Sage’s report said there had been some improvement in student’s attainment from low standards on entry.

“However, the achievement of too many students is still not good enough,” he added.

They make inadequate progress in almost one-third of lessons due to continued weaknesses in teaching, said the report and typically make good progress in not more than one-third of lessons.

“Too much teaching is inadequate and there is still too little that is of high quality,” said the report.

“The progress made by the school in improving the quality of teaching is inadequate.

“Too many teachers are not clear about the learning intentions of their lessons, resulting in the students also being unclear about what they are expected to do or about their learning goals.”

There were satisfactory imp-rovements in the behaviour and safety of pupils, however there was still low-level disruptive behaviour linked in many cases to weaknesses in teaching.

Governor Cllr Sandra Moore said: “When they had the inspection the interim head had only been there 20 days. Had he been there longer, it would have been more positive.”

Former pupil Sophie Rix, of Canford Heath, who left the school in 2001, said: “It doesn’t sound like the same school that I went to but I’m sure with all these new improvements it will get back on track in no time.”

Parent and chairman of governors Laura Dagnall said: “My daughter starts in September and that shows the faith I have in the school.

“My other two children have done really well there and I have every faith my daughter will do just as well.”


Vicky Wales, pictured, head of children and young people’s integrated services at the Borough of Poole, said the inspector acknowledged that the interim headteacher had already identified key priorities for the school and actions to make necessary improvements since taking up his post.

“While there has been some improvement with pupil’s behaviour and attendance, and the students’ feeling of safety, the council will continue to work in partnership with the head, governors, staff, parents and pupils to develop the leadership and management of the school and raise pupil attainment,” she said.

“Progress will continue to be carefully monitored to ensure that changes are having an impact in the school.”