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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Ulverston Victoria High School Ofsted report revealed

OFSTED inspectors have rated a the only high school in Ulverston as good with outstanding features.

CHALLENGE Ulverston Victoria School headteacher Denis Fay

Ulverston Victoria High School was examined between November 26 to 27.

The report published yesterday said the school – previously rated as outstanding – was ‘good’ overall.

Using tough new guidelines, the government’s inspectors ruled UVHS was outstanding for behaviour and safety of pupils as well as leadership and management.

Achievement of pupils and quality of teaching was rated good, with the school gaining an overall rating of good.

Headteacher Denis Fay said: “It’s the best report I have had in my career,” before issuing a strongly-worded statement about the new framework to which Ofsted now works when assessing schools.

He said: “Our recent Ofsted was one of the most demanding events in my long career and was set in the context of a new amazingly challenging framework which many parents would find baffling and frustrating particularly in its obsession with preconception, dubious data and its determination to prioritise its focus on the progress of the few against the successes of the many.

“In achieving such a pleasing report, with really significant outstanding aspects, we judge our success as being far in advance of our outstanding in a past framework. Two-and-a-half years on we know we are a much better school than that which got the outstanding in a record time.

“However, as the inspectors said, more than once, we are not complacent. Parents will be particularly delighted in the award of outstanding for their children’s behaviour and for the way in which the school keeps them safe.

“Ofsted described the school as a very secure base for its students and the lead inspector told me UVHS is a lovely school and that our children are impressive and a pleasure to be with.

“Her team was also struck by how much our students love and take pride in their school.

“Our parent view also demonstrated a strong allegiance to the school and support for it. New parents, sending their children to UVHS, will be particularly heartened by this aspect as surveys show that behaviour and safety is of paramount importance when parents carry out the act of trust in placing their children in a secondary school.

“Also I was delighted for my colleagues in the senior leadership team and our governors that we achieved an outstanding for leadership and management. That reflects on an extremely able group of leaders who are creative and also dedicated on a 24/7 basis to their school.

“They reflect the pride in UVHS which flooded out from the students. Also, of course, it reflects the leadership and dedication at all levels in our team of subject and pastoral leaders and other teachers and, importantly, associate staff who, in our thriving environment, take the lead on many initiatives.

“Being aware of my manifold weaknesses I feel part of the art of headship is to get out of the way for others, more talented, to make the crucial impacts. “However governors may now be reaching for my P45 having made that admission.”

The inspectors found, among other things, that:

  • Teaching is good. In some lessons it is outstanding;
  • The sixth form is good. Students make good progress and achieve well;
  • Students’ behaviour in lessons and around the school is excellent. They relish opportunities to take responsibility, show great kindness and respect for others and are proud of their school;
  • Leadership and management are outstanding.

The school was told it had not achieved outstanding status because:

  • Teaching is good but not enough is outstanding. In a small minority of lessons teachers do not move students on to the next task quickly enough or give them sufficient opportunities to work independently, share their ideas and assess their own and each other’s work;
  • Small differences in the rate of progress remain between students supported by the pupil premium and other students.

Nationally 69 per cent of schools were considered to need improvement or to be inadequate under the new guidelines.

Ofsted has been blitzing schools in Cumbria for the past few weeks, with a number receiving downgraded verdicts on their last inspections.

Between September and December, 470 secondary schools have been inspected nationwide and only four per cent have been considered outstanding.

Meanwhile, 69 per cent have been judged as needing improvement or to be inadequate.

Under the previous Ofsted framework, 18 per cent of schools were considered to be outstanding.

Have your say

Well Done UVHS. Personally I do not accept that your school is Good, far from it, in my experience you are OUTSTANDING in everything you do.

Posted by brian on 13 December 2013 at 16:48

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