Potters Bar school out of special measures after Ofsted success

PUBLISHED: 13:35 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 07 March 2019

Mount Grace School.

Mount Grace School.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A Potters Bar headteacher has thanked the community after his school was taken out of special measures, following several monitoring visits by exacting Ofsted inspectors.

Mount Grace headteacher Peter Baker. Picture credit: Bill SoensMount Grace headteacher Peter Baker. Picture credit: Bill Soens

Although the details of the official report are confidential and still being finalised, Mount Grace School headteacher Peter Baker fully expects the school’s current ‘inadequate’ rating to be lifted as soon as the report is released.

Mount Grace was put in special measures with this rating in January 2017.

A report at the time rated leadership as ‘inadequate’, and quality of teaching, pupils’ outcomes, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and 16 to 19 study programmes all as requiring improvement.

Yet some local parents spoke to this paper soon after the school’s set of GCSE results that year calling the school “fantastic”.

READ MORE: Potters Bar parents praise ‘fantastic’ school after difficult period

Mount Grace School converted to an academy in 2012 and has had three Ofsted ratings since then: twice rated as ‘requires improvement’ in 2013 and 2015, and lately, the 2017 report.

At the time of the last rating, the school’s rating was arrived at under a ‘three strikes’ rule that is no longer applied to school inspections.

But after the latest monitoring inspection in October last year, Ofsted officers noted that Mount Grace’s leaders were “taking effective action”.

They also found that the school’s statement of action, and its improvement plan, are fit for purpose.

READ MORE: Onwards and upwards for Potters Bar school in Ofsted report

On February 27 this year, officers congratulated governors and Mr Baker with the news.

Mr Baker said: “It’s quite an emotional moment when you have finally got out of what’s been quite a difficult time for the school.

“I’m delighted with the outcome of the inspection.

“The community have been fantastic and we’ve got a really good core of parents who are vocal supporters of the school.

“The support from parents, governors and the community has kept me going from strength to strength in dark days.”

According to government figures, in 2017 and 2018, the school’s Progress 8 score was rated average.

In addition, 98 per cent of pupils stay in education or employment after Year 11, beating both the local authority and the national average.

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