I am delighted to announce that we can now officially share with you our OFSTED news!
As you know, we had notification of a one day, short Section 8 inspection on 6th February 2018. This is a standard process for all schools who were judged to be ‘good’ at their last inspection.
The Section 8 inspection comes approximately three years after our last inspection in March 2015. The judgement of a school cannot change on the day, so the only possible outcome was that we retained our ‘good’ status. However, if inspectors had any concerns, they could have converted the inspection to a full, two day Section 5 inspection, which they did not.
During the day, inspectors had a number of meetings with me and the leadership team, met with many students (who they selected), observed lessons and took account of the views of students, parents and staff through the surveys.
You will see from the report (which comes in the form of a letter addressed to me) that there is much to celebrate!
St Edmund’s is a school where we constantly seek to improve outcomes for students and we are pleased that the inspection team recognised the excellent work that we continue to do to. The letter praises the school leadership team for having “clarity of vision and a relentless drive to raise standards”.
The inspector has taken the time to comment positively about the Christian ethos and inclusive nature of the school and most importantly, highlights that the safeguarding of students is “strong”.
The letter praises the positive impact of the additional focus we have had on the progress of disadvantaged students (those who receive the pupil premium grant), students with special educational needs and also, the most able students.
I am pleased that the inspectors have recognised that the school has the capacity to get better and better; “your ideas for the future are realistic and inspiring”.
It is standard to include the “Next steps” for the school in the letter and I was able to discuss and agree these with the inspectors on the day. With regard to the first “Next step”, we take on board the advice to evaluate carefully the changes we have made this year. These changes include the additional mentoring with our most able students, the intervention with disadvantaged students and changes to the curriculum for students with special educational needs, including the new “Animal Studies” course at the community farm. We are already monitoring the impact of these and were able to demonstrate this to the inspectors.
The second “Next step” relates to continuing to ensure that our curriculum enables students to think deeply about their learning. The maths ‘mastery programme’ in Year 7-9 is one example of how we are already doing this.
Please do read the report here, which is also published on the Ofsted website. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.