A HEREFORDSHIRE high school has been told by Ofsted it needs to improve with a big "barrier" stopping pupils from learning more.

John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form Centre Academy in Ross-on-Wye was left with an overall grade of requires improvement when Ofsted inspectors visited on March 22 and 23 – downgraded from good at the last full inspection.

The inspectors' report, published today (June 16), said that while behaviour and attitudes, personal development and sixth-form provision were all judged as good, the quality of education and leadership and management were both marked as requires improvement.

The school, in Ledbury Road with 1,409 pupils aged between 11 and 18 on roll, was given four main points on how to improve.


The first is curriculum planning. Inspectors said that in some subjects, the planning does not set out the essential knowledge that leaders expect pupils to know and remember.

"This is a barrier to some pupils knowing more and remembering more," they said.

"Leaders should ensure that, in all subjects, teachers are clear about the content pupils need to know and remember."

The school, in Ross-on-Wyes Ledbury Road, has more than 1,400 pupils

The school, in Ross-on-Wye's Ledbury Road, has more than 1,400 pupils

The second point was that in some subjects. teachers do not check pupils’ understanding within lessons well enough so they don't know what children know.

The third point for improvement was that governors lack sufficient knowledge of education.

"This means that they are not able to hold leaders to account well enough for the quality of education in the school," they said.

"As a matter of priority, governors should develop their understanding of their roles so that they know how to hold leaders to account."

And finally, inspectors said that leaders have not ensured that there are clear and well-understood policies in place for some aspects of the school’s work, including curriculum, teaching and behaviour.

"This means that leaders’ ambition for providing high-quality education is not consistently realised," they said, adding strong policies were needed.

But inspectors praised the "confident, polite and welcoming" pupils who enjoy going to school, adding that the sixth form pupils are "positive role models for younger pupils".


Leaders were also praised for ensuring that all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), study a broad range of subjects.

Inspectors said sometimes teachers are unclear about the essential knowledge pupils need, meaning they are unable to complete work – meaning some pupils struggle and it slows learning.

The sixth form was praised though for the "very positive" relationships between staff and students and through the whole school, pupils usually behave well.

But the behaviour policy includes "very little information" about how staff should manage unwanted behaviour, should it occur, they said.

Inspectors said interim headteacher Mark Burton, supported by leaders, is taking effective steps to remove these inconsistencies.

They also said there have been significant changes to the governance of the school since the previous inspection, with new governors joining in September 2021.

Nigel Griffths, left, pictured with Jesse Norman MP, left the school earlier this year

Nigel Griffths, left, pictured with Jesse Norman MP, left the school earlier this year

Mr Burton was appointed in January after Nigel Griffiths left, and inspectors said the new interim head has worked hard to promote staff's wellbeing.

The school has been approached for comment.