Head at ‘requires improvement’ Hatfield school says it’s not about ‘chasing Ofsted ratings’

Headteacher of Onslow St Audrey's School David Bullock. Picture: OSA

Headteacher of Onslow St Audrey's School David Bullock. Picture: OSA - Credit: Archant

The headteacher at a Hatfield school which has been given a ‘requires improvement’ rating has said it’s not about “chasing Ofsted ratings”.

The report by the education inspector for Onslow St Audrey's School rated the school 'good' in three categories and 'requires improvement' in two - with an overall rating of 'requires improvement'.

The Ofsted report, due to be released next week, also drew attention to the new headteacher David Bullock's good work.

It said the new head, since taking over the Old Rectory Drive school in September, had already "established a culture of raising aspirations at all levels" and recognised that "the new head teacher is making a positive difference to the school [...} and has quickly won the trust of the wider community".

Reacting to the overall rating - one above 'inadequate' - Mr Bullock said he is not going to focus "on chasing Ofsted ratings", but on making Onslow St Audrey's "the best school it can be".

"Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and students feel safe and happy to come to school," he said.

He added that he was happy that the Ofsted inspection took place on May 21-22 so he had the time to raise standards.

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"I think if they would have come in February it would have been a very different story," he said.

It was acknowledged by the report that GCSE results have declined in recent years and moved from 'below average' in 2016 - when compared to other results in England and Wales - to 'well below average' in 2017 and 2018.

But the headteacher was quick to point out the results since he took over have so far not been released.

"For the current GCSE results we predict much better results," he said.

"The school has become unrecognisable compared to previous standards."

He also pointed out that in an Ofsted online questionnaire to parents they said they "would recommend the school to others".

The report says students, after graduating at 18, often "move on to either appropriate higher education courses, some to Russell Group universities and a few to Oxford or Cambridge, employment or apprenticeships".

The report can be viewed on Onslow St Audrey's School website, here, and will be published by Ofsted next week.