The Grange School has been told it ‘requires improvement’ by education watchdog Ofsted.
Inspectors, who published their findings today (Tuesday), said pupils who took their GCSE exams in 2014 and 2015 did not make enough progress from their starting points.
They added that the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers was too wide and the ‘quality teaching, learning, and assessment is too variable’.
However, the report said the school’s ‘headteacher has successfully ensured that the school’s inspiring mantra is threaded through all aspects of its work’.
“It empowers staff and pupils to work together to make the school better.”
The report also said that newly appointed curriculum co-ordinators are succeeding in improving the quality of teaching in the subjects they manage.
But it did say that at sixth form level learners were not making enough progress, and that targets for students were too low.
The inspectors also believe that all pupils, including sixth formers, do not have a good enough understanding of how to express their ideas articulately both in writing and speaking and that this affects their progress.
The secondary modern school in Wendover Way, Aylesbury, which has 1,327 pupils, was last inspected in 2011 when it was graded as ‘good’.
The latest inspection comes after a significant drop in students achieving five good GCSEs, from 54% to 41%, although this was blamed on issues with the examination board.
Headteacher Vince Murray said: “As a school we acknowledged that outcomes need to and are improving and this reflected in the text of the report. In many instances where outcomes require improvement this often leads to teaching and learning requiring improvement, as was the case at The Grange.
“As headteacher of the school I know the journey of the school over the past ten years and I believe in the capacity of the school community to ensure that our students receive a good, well rounded education. We are overcoming the barriers that resulted in a drop in performance in 2015 and remain confident that the school will be back on track.
“There have been recent changes and developments that have made improvements and these have been recognised within the report.
“The report is clear that the school is well led and that our students are very well looked after. Results are always temporary and our performance over time has been well received and acknowledged but declined in the year of an inspection.
“The school has a strong, stable ethos which shone through within the report and gives us the confidence to keep striving for success. I have no doubt that outcomes in 2016 will improve and as such the school will quickly a retain a good Ofsted judgement.”