Head's vow to parents after Welwyn Garden City school given 'requires improvement' Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 13:07 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:07 22 May 2019

The Stanborough School was inspected from 30 April to 1 May. Picture: Google

The Stanborough School was inspected from 30 April to 1 May. Picture: Google

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The headteacher of a Welwyn Garden City school which today has been given a 'requires improvement' rating by Ofsted says she is "extremely confident" that under her leadership it can be given the top mark of 'outstanding'.

Mrs Merry John,  head teacher of Stanborough School, was found by Ofsted to have improved the school since taking over in September 2018. Picture: Stanborough SchoolMrs Merry John, head teacher of Stanborough School, was found by Ofsted to have improved the school since taking over in September 2018. Picture: Stanborough School

Stanborough School, a secondary school in Lemsford Lane, has been one of the worst performing schools in England since its GCSE results dropped in 2016 and then moved to below average in 2017.

Since last year, it has slipped even further with results nearing the "well below average" mark.

The Ofsted report cites five out of its six categories, including effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for pupils, as requiring improvement. The 16 to 19 programme was given a 'good' rating.

On balance, Ofsted says that "leaders and governors have not addressed declines in pupils' behaviour, attendance and progress swiftly enough," citing the gradual decline in GCSE results since 2016.

But Ofsted did note since September, when new headteacher Merry John took over, standards have "improved significantly".

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"Pupils are making better progress because of rapid improvements in their attendance, behaviour and the quality of teaching," the report said.

Mrs John believes more work needs to be done to address "inconsistency in teaching" and stressed the school is focusing on this as a top priority.

Some of the teaching failings were down to a lack of proactivity, the report says, by those who have not followed "the school's policy when giving feedback to pupils", have not challenged "a minority of pupils" that do not work hard and have not looked into how students are completing their work.

Teaching and A-level performance for pupils, aged 16 to 18, was found to be consistently 'good' and exam results have gone up since 2016.

Reflecting on the progress the school has made, Mrs John - who has penned a detailed letter on the report to parents - said: "I am proud and humbled to lead Stanborough and I am extremely confident that Stanborough will be an outstanding school for all the students in our care.

"We look forward to welcoming the inspectors in the next 24-30 months."

Most schools in the Welwyn Hatfield area have been rated "outstanding" or "good" by Oftsed with only five schools getting "requires improvement" and none being rated "inadequate".

The full Ofsted report is available online here: files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50079248

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