Deepings School on the way to ‘Good’ Ofsted
Progress is being made at The Deepings School so that it can have its Ofsted rating upgraded, according to a new report.
The mixed secondary is currently rated as ‘requires improvement’, but following a recent monitoring visit Ofsted inspector Deborah Mosley said: “Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action in order for the school to become a good school.”
She added: “Leaders are determined to improve the school and have not allowed the Covid-19 pandemic to detract from their main purpose of providing a good quality of education and promoting pupils’ safety and well-being.
“The headteacher is well supported by the senior leadership team. Staff understand the school’s priorities and share leaders’ ambition.”
The report continues: “Leaders have systematically addressed all the areas identified as needing improvement at the last inspection. They have introduced several changes to improve the school.
“Sometimes staff have needed more support to implement these changes. Leaders recognise that further work needs to be done in some aspects of the school’s provision and have appropriate plans in place to achieve this.”
As well as praise for the quality of education, there is special recognition of the PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) curriculum which is said to help pupils “apply their knowledge in different contexts”.
One example given is: “When Year 11 pupils study Macbeth in their English lessons they reflect on their learning about healthy relationships, asking whether Lady Macbeth was guilty of coercive control.”
Long-term absences are said to remain high, particularly for disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs, but the proportion of pupils who are persistently absent is said to have reduced over recent months.
Low-level disruption also “remains a concern,” although “instances of more serious behaviour have reduced” and “the proportion of fixed-term exclusions has reduced considerably”.
The inspection considered 201 responses to an online Ofsted questionnaire and 121 free-text responses, as well as 120 responses to the staff questionnaire.
The school in Deeping St James is part of the Anthem Schools Trust.
Headteacher Richard Lord said: “We are delighted that the progress that our school has made since the last inspection has been formally recognised.
“Given the disruption to education since the previous inspection just before lockdown last year, these findings are a testament to the hard work of our staff and students and the support of our parents and carers.
“The school received 13 targets in January 2020 and to have reduced these to just two areas of focus shows that everyone’s hard work is paying off.
“The fact that this is based not only on the inspector’s first-hand experience of our school but also on over 200 responses from parents and carers means that we are particularly pleased with the high level of whole community satisfaction this year.”