AN INSPECTION report has painted a mixed picture for a Wrexham secondary school.

Darland High School in Rossett was found to be ‘adequate’ in most areas by officials from national inspection body Estyn, while the support and guidance offered to pupils was shown to be good.

However, they highlighted several areas for improvement following a visit in January, including attendance levels and the quality of teaching, as well as standards achieved by year 10 and 11 pupils .

The school will now be required to draw up an action plan to show how it is going to address the recommendations and its progress will be reviewed.

In their summary, inspectors said senior leaders had been successful in creating an atmosphere of care and respect, but did not have a sufficient impact in other areas.

They said: “Many pupils feel safe and valued, and enjoy their life at school.

“They show respect towards one another, to staff and to visitors.

“However, whole-school rates of attendance have not compared well with those in similar schools over recent years.

“This has a negative impact on pupils’ progress and attainment.

“The number of fixed-term exclusions has increased and is high.”

The report shows most teachers build positive relationships with their pupils, but found a ‘common shortcoming’ in their questioning skills.

It also found the development of pupils’ skills was inconsistent across the


Inspectors added: “Many pupils enjoy school, staff collaborate well towards common goals, and there are positive working relationships between staff and pupils.

“Where teaching is effective, pupils make strong progress.

“However, pupils’ achievement and progress are too variable across key performance indicators and subjects.

“Leaders have had a positive impact in a few areas of the school’s work, such as improving standards in mathematics, the provision for pupils with additional learning needs, and managing the school’s budget efficiently.

“However, leaders have not had sufficient impact on developing teaching, raising standards overall, and improving pupils’ attendance.”

The four recommendations for improvement include raising standards at key stage four level, increasing attendance, strengthening the quality of teaching and improving the quality of self-evaluation.