A HEREFORD secondary school is pleased with its progress, despite being told by Ofsted is still requires improvement.

Aylestone School was inspected in December 2021 after Ofsted had found that the school had been progressing well on two previous interim visits.

The visit saw Aylestone classed as "good" for the personal development of students and found that the majority of children felt supported and safe during the school day.

But the school’s overall rating was requires improvement – the same as the last full inspection in 2018.

The quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, and leadership and management were all judged as requiring improvement.

The report of the December 7 and 8 inspection, published on February 28, said that school leaders have high aspirations for all their pupils and that every pupil has access to extra-curricular activities.

Headteacher Simon Robertson was pleased that the hard work of staff at the school, which has 419 pupils, had been recognised.

He said: “I am very pleased the school has been graded as good for personal development and that the improvements being made here continue to be acknowledged."

The inspectors said that while the curriculum was broad and varied, the use of assessment was not consistent or fully developed in all subjects.

The mathematics curriculum was singled out for praise.

The report said: "Teachers plan a curriculum that builds well on what pupils know. They ensure that pupils can practise and apply new knowledge and that they remember it."

However, the report also found that teachers were not able to identify and address gaps in pupils’ knowledge in some subjects, leading to under-achievement in some cases.

Mr Robertson said: "Whilst overall grading for the school has remained as Requires Improvement, this inspection took place at a time when the Omicron variant of Covid was causing major staffing issues both locally and nationally.

"In acknowledgement of this, Ofsted decided to call a halt to all inspections the week after we were visited."

The report said: "This was the first routine inspection the school received since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Inspectors discussed the impact of the pandemic with school leaders and have taken that into account in their evaluation."

Mr Robertson said he was proud of the school's progress, during what has been a testing time for everyone in the education sector.

He said: “Everyone at the school remains focused on delivering the very best education possible for all our students.

"That will continue to be our goal and I remain hugely proud to be Executive Headteacher at a school that is home to so many fantastic individuals of all ages.”