‘Community can have faith in school’ says Potters Bar headteacher

Mount Grace headteacher Peter Baker

Mount Grace headteacher Peter Baker - Credit: Archant

A Potters Bar headteacher has lauded his school’s “excellent” exam results and declared it is on the right track following a turbulent few months.

Mount Grace School headteacher Peter Baker has said that although improvement takes time, he is confident the school’s A-level and GCSE results confirm it is heading in the right direction.

He said: “We are very confident that the Potters Bar community can have faith in its local school,” adding, “and to that end, I am delighted to invite local people to attend our open evening on Wednesday, 20th September from 5pm [details on the website].

“It will be an opportunity to see how we have achieved such excellent results and confounded our critics.”

This summer’s exam results followed an Ofsted report in May in which inspectors rated leadership and management ‘inadequate’ and four other key areas as ‘requires improvement’.

At GCSE level, 63 per cent of pupils achieved the old benchmark of 5 A* to C grades including English and maths, compared to the school’s previous best ever 52 per cent in 2011.

Mr Baker said: “We are really pleased with the results.

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“The spring term and summer term were very difficult for all of our colleagues.

“The inspection was a blow to morale but in spite of that judgement, they kept working at the task at hand.”

He added it was a “bitter sweet” moment, as the school was confident of getting good results at the time of the Ofsted visit – despite not being able to convince the inspectors.

Mr Baker added: “I was expecting a lot of staff to leave, but the loyalty of my colleagues and courage of the governors not take knee jerk reactions have meant we were able to keep calm and carry on, and I think these results are a testament to the hard work of my colleagues.”

There was also an improvement in the A-level performance, with the average grade rising from a point score of 18.8 (equivalent to a high E) to this year’s 25.5 (a middle D).

Mr Baker added that the most important aspect of the results was that they enabled pupils to move on to their desired paths, which was reflected in 82 per cent of students entering higher education, including eight at Russell Group universities.

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