Spalding’s Sir John Gleed School is clawing its way back to success after being plunged into ‘special measures’ two years ago by education inspectorate Ofsted.
Ofsted has lifted special measures at the school – acknowledging a series of key improvements – and school leaders are now confident that pupils’ GCSE results this summer will be proof of Gleed’s remarkable turnaround and take it higher still up the Ofsted ladder.
(Will Scott) gave this school its confidence backExecutive headteacher Chris Mallaband
Ofsted ratings run from grade 1 (outstanding) to 4 (inadequate) and Gleed is still graded overall as inadequate, as is the achievement of pupils.
But its leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching and sixth form provision all score 3, Ofsted’s category for “requires improvement” – although the same category used to be called “satisfactory”.
Headteacher Will Scott and executive headteacher Chris Mallaband know there is work to be done to take Gleed to the top but they are confident the school is going to make it.
Mr Scott said: “I’m delighted that the school no longer requires special measures and that’s credit to the incredible hard work that the staff and students have put in, supported by the parents, governors and our partners at the CfBT Education Trust.
“It’s a step in the right direction but we’ve not finished our journey and there’s still lots to do.
“I certainly acknowledge that and the first part of that is to get some really positive results for our Year 11s from this summer’s GCSE exams.
“But we’re confident that there will be a marked improvement on last year and when we’re inspected again next year, we want to be recognised as a good school.
“I’m delighted with the outcome because it’s been a very long, hard and difficult two years.
Inspectors also say the executive headteacher (Mr Mallaband) “has made a significant impact on helping the school’s leaders to improve behaviour and develop leadership systems to move the school forward”.
But Mr Mallaband says that it is Will Scott who has done more than anyone else to change the culture of the school and pave the way for improvements.
Mr Mallaband said: “When you read the 2013 (Ofsted) report, what comes across is a dispirited school where the young people have lost faith and the parents have lost faith. Will Scott changed all of that and he changed it in a short space of time. More than anything else he gave this school its confidence back.
“Our view is Spalding needs a great school and that’s what we are aiming to be.”
Among strengths noted by Ofsted inspectors during their visit in March are:
• This is an improving school
• Leaders have focused on improving behaviour and safety and their work has had a “significant impact”
• The school is now calm, students behave well and they are safe
• Students on vocational courses achieve well due to effective teaching
• Governors are skilled and are beginning to hold school leaders to account
Among weaknesses pinpointed by the inspectors are that teachers’ expectations are too low, especially of the most able students, and “disadvantaged students do not achieve as well as other students”.