December 1, 2017
Highbridge's King Alfred School praised for improvements by Ofsted

Highbridge's King Alfred School has been praised for its progress following a new Ofsted inspection monitoring visit - and identified areas that require further improvement.

Earlier in the year, we reported here that the school had been rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted in five areas, with one area rated as 'requiring improvement', placing it into 'special measures'.

However, it has just been re-assessed again by Ofsted's inspectors who say they are seeing improvements with mixed feedback.

However, the report says "leaders and managers are not taking effective action towards the removal of special measures."

Ofsted adds: "senior leaders, middle leaders and governors have done too little to improve the quality of teaching across the school. Seven months after the school was placed into special measures, the quality of teaching remains too inconsistent and too much is of a poor quality. As a result, pupils make insufficient progress in their learning."

But Ofsted acknowledges that "the local authority's statement of action is fit for purpose and the school's development plan is fit for purpose." It also praised behaviour and conduct.

A school spokesperson told "It was very pleasing to see that the inspection team recognised that behaviour and conduct at The King Alfred School has improved significantly since April."

"Inspectors now note that pupils work well on their own and with their peers. Safeguarding is strong and pupils are safe. Well done to all involved for this improved picture."

"They also recognised that the School’s Development Plan is a comprehensive document that sets out clearly the actions to be taken and the intended impact, and that headteacher Denise Hurr has a very strong understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school."

"It would not be normal on a first monitoring visit to see the school removed from ‘Special Measures’ as this is mostly done over a two year period."

"Staff have now been given a structured approach to teaching and learning that follows the clear approach adopted by The Priory Learning Trust (TPLT)."

"Staff at King Alfred School are now very clear about the quality of teaching expected and the school’s leaders are also clear on the standards expected along with the monitoring required. It is now about being consistent in all that we do in every lesson, within each department and that we work as one team."

"We recognise the school will benefit from the support of parents and carers and we are pleased to see evidence of such strong support from many of you already."

"We can assure you that all students who are not making sufficient progress are now being given a high priority."

"Teachers and middle leaders are being rigorously held to account and we are certain better outcomes will follow this summer."

"There remains a lot of work to do and many changes have been made to the site and the environment already, which is now bearing fruit. However, the focus will continue to be on good teaching in every lesson with a clear emphasis on the exemplary behaviour of our students."

Headteacher Denise Hurr told "We welcome the comments from Ofsted. It's nice to see the positive improvements acknowleged from an independent perspective. There is lots of work continuing and good progres is being made - we are on track to take the school out of special measures."

Parents who want to discuss the latest Ofsted findings with the school team will be able to do so at a meeting of parents and carers at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 6th December in the School Hall.

This meeting will also give the school's staff the opportunity to reassure parents of the actions that are being taken to improve all outcomes.


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