SCHOOLS in Herefordshire “require improvement” in their teaching whilst another is rated as “outstanding” for their “impressive” pupils, according to Ofsted.

Ofsted (the Office of Standards in Education) judges the quality of education pupils are receiving in all state schools. They inspect then rate them from 'outstanding' to 'inadequate'.

The most recent inspections found one secondary school in Herefordshire is 'inadequate', two 'require improvement' and one was 'outstanding'.

Here is the list of schools and reasons for their ratings:

The Bishops of Hereford's Blue coat School - Requires improvement

Ofsted said: "Pupils' progress is improving but it is still not consistently strong. Leaders have put in place several improvements, but these are not yet thoroughly effective. Leaders have an overly generous understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. Their self-evaluation does not offer the governing body enough detail about pupils' underachievement. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is inconsistent and not yet good enough.

"Disadvantaged pupils' progress is still not good but is improving. Leaders could make more effective use of additional funding for these pupils."

“The school has the following strengths: Pupils are attentive and cooperative in most lessons. The members of the school leadership team work well together. The governing body is skilled and determined to make lasting improvements to the school. Safeguarding is a strength of the school.”

Date of last inspection: 1st May 2019

Monitoring visit: 18 March 2021

A spokesperson for the school said: "Since our last full Ofsted inspection just over two years ago we have worked really hard and made huge school improvements.

"We had a monitoring visit from Ofsted back in March to review our remote learning provision.

"In the last full week of the summer term we received a full Ofsted inspection which will considerably out date the previous one in 2019. As the inspection was so late in the summer term, we are waiting for the full inspection report to be released which we expect will be towards the end of this month."

Aylestone School – Requires Improvement

Ofsted said: "There are inconsistencies in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, including the quality of teachers' planning and questioning. The most able pupils did not achieve high enough grades in GCSE examinations in 2017. There is still insufficient challenge for the most able pupils currently in school. Disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities did not make good enough progress in 2017. Some disadvantaged pupils in key stage 4 are still not making good enough progress.

"Middle leadership is not yet consistently strong. Some leaders' expectations have not been high enough in the past. Wide-ranging changes made by new leaders came too late to ensure good outcomes in GCSE examinations in 2017.

“The school has the following strengths: Senior leaders have a clear and accurate understanding of how to make the necessary improvements to pupils’ progress. Pupils’ behaviour is polite and courteous. There is a strong culture of safeguarding and leaders have planned effective social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning.”

Date of last inspection: 23 January 2018

Monitoring visit: 02 May 2019

Aylestone School did not respond to our request for a comment.

The Hereford Academy – Inadequate

Ofsted said: "Leaders, governors and the trust have been too slow in addressing the decline in standards at this school. The trust has been ineffective in providing the support required to bring about urgently needed improvements. Many teachers have low expectations of, and aspirations for, their pupils. Pupils say that they feel as if some of their 'teachers do not care'.

"Not all pupils inspectors spoke to feel safe at school. Pupils, especially those in key stage 3, do not feel safe at school because of the poor behaviour of others.

“The school has the following strengths: Teaching and outcomes in art and physical education (PE) are strong. This is because teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve and of their behaviour.”

Date of last inspection: 20th November 2018

Monitoring visit: 27th January 2021

The Hereford Academy did not respond to our request for a comment.

St Mary's RC High School – Outstanding

Ofsted said: "Outcomes for pupils are impressive. Pupils throughout the school make strong progress in all subjects. Over time, attainment at the end of key stage 4 has been above the national average. Pupils from all ability groups, disadvantaged pupils, and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make strong progress from their starting points. Teaching is very effective across the curriculum and in different year groups.

"Pupils enjoy school, attend regularly and are proud to be part of the school community. Safeguarding is extremely effective. There is a consistently caring culture at the school."

Date of last inspection: 29th January 2019

Monitoring visit: 20th April 2021

Headmaster Stuart Weston said: "We are obviously delighted at St Mary's that Ofsted judged our school to be Outstanding during our last full inspection.

"It is and will always be our aim to give the children who come to our school the best possible education we can to, enable them to achieve outstanding outcomes and achieve their potential.

"It is particularly rewarding that our pastoral care and work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare was highlighted and recognised, together with comments within the report about our pupils' behaviour.

"We are so incredibly proud of our pupils and their achievements and very grateful for the tremendous support we receive from their parents and carers."

To find Ofsted reports for all schools in Herefordshire click here: OFSTED REPORT