Inspirational leadership and good manners from polite and well-behaved students has helped Millthorpe School achieve an overall ‘Good’ rating from school inspectors Ofsted.
Inspectors said the school is “improving at a very swift pace. Achievement is rising rapidly, but particularly so in English.”
They noted that there has been a very successful drive to improve teaching, students feel safe and secure and that the head teacher, Trevor Burton, has a “clarity of vision” which has motivated the senior team and staff. Governors provided high quality support and challenge.
“We are all delighted that inspectors have recognised that we have come a long way in such a short time,” said Mr Burton, who took up his post in April 2011, shortly after the previous Ofsted inspection.
“School inspections have become a lot more rigorous and now scrutinise schools’ performance like never before. We achieved a ‘good’ rating last time, but it’s fair to say the bar has been raised considerably since then.”
Last year’s GCSE results were the best the school has achieved, with 70 per cent of students recording five A*-C grades including English and Maths. Inspectors said that the school’s tracking of students’ progress was “simple for all to understand, yet highly effective” and also “sophisticated in analysing students’ potential and identifying underachievement early”. Inspectors said: “The school’s accurate predictions for the future and other inspection evidence, indicate that this trend of improvement is likely to continue.”
Inspectors were impressed that the many parents who responded to the online Parent View survey are “overwhelmingly supportive of the school and say they would recommend the school to others.”
Some 45 lessons were observed over the two day inspection. The report noted: “Teachers go out of their way to make learning interesting. Students enjoy a challenge and extending their learning, particularly the most able.” Teaching assistants are well trained and provide “excellent support to those students who need it most.”
Bob Sydes, chair of governors, was also very pleased with the Ofsted inspectors’ findings. “We believe we are an effective governing body that successfully gets under the skin of the school,” he said. “We are able to do this this in part because the data shared with us is the most comprehensive and meaningful we have ever had. We believe our senior leadership team is performing at the highest level and they are to be congratulated on the very positive comments made by inspectors.”
Mr Burton said he is particularly pleased with students’ attitudes to learning and appreciated the endorsements from parents and governors – and he promised that improvements were ongoing. “We have stated in the past that we are ambitious and want to go from good to great. That ambition remains a commitment by the whole school community, which I am proud and feel privileged to lead.”
Click here to read the Ofsted Report.