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AN East Cleveland school given a notice to improve, is making good progress, according to a Government inspector.

Freebrough Specialist Engineering College in Brotton was issued with the notice in May.

At a monitoring visit Her Majesty's Inspector for Ofsted Brian Blake said it was making satisfactory progress in addressing the areas for improvement and raising pupils' improvement at Key Stages 3 and 4.

The school was told it needed to: Raise achievement and standards especially in relation to literacy skills; make better use of performance data to inform planning and classroom practice; set more challenging targets for students and monitor the quality of their work more effectively; and improve attendance.

In a letter to principal Diane Edwards, Mr Blake said 2007 test and examination results showed improved performance over the previous year among students gaining A*-C grades at GCSE in English and maths.

But he added not enough students were gaining the higher grades in subjects including English, English literature, maths, design and technology, geography, home economics, religious education, statistics and physical education.

Mr Blake noted a "robust and well targeted set of actions are helping to raise standards and improve the rate of students' progress across the school, especially in literacy and numeracy."

Standards in design and technology, maths and science were also improving satisfactorily, but more work was needed to be done in the first two subjects to ensure they reached national levels for achievement in A* to C at GCSE.

Attendance was still below the national average, however the school was making "slow but important progress in this area."

Mr Blake praised the school for making "satisfactory" use of its specialist status to improve opportunities for students.

Mrs Edwards said: "We were very pleased to share with Brian Blake HMI our considerable progress since the last Ofsted report. His report concurs with our view that Freebrough is doing all the correct things to make this a very good school. We will continue to seek out every possible way of providing top class educational experiences for our students, meeting their personal needs."

Mrs Edwards praised the staff, thanked the governors, parents and its school improvement partner, who has worked with the school, for their support and congratulated the students.

Schools minister Jim Knight is to visit the college after being invited by Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Ashok Kumar to see the "outstanding progress" being made in the teaching of science and engineering.

To read the full report on the college go to


PROGRESS: Freebrough College
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 20, 2008
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