An Ofsted inspector has praised the determination of the Mandeville’s headteacher as she tries to lift the school out of special measures.
The school was lambasted by Ofsted in November when it said too much teaching was inadequate and students’ behaviour required improvement.
But following a ‘monitoring’ visit, inspector Christine Raeside said she was pleased with the attitude being taken by senior staff and the interim executive board which has replaced the governing body.
She said interim headteacher Geralyn Wilson ‘has had a significant impact on the school since taking up her post just prior to the inspection’ which rated the school as inadequate.
“She has created a strong sense of shared ambition and responsibility for the rapid improvement of the school. Her drive, professionalism, and belief in both students and staff is boosting morale and building confidence.”
Ms Raeside said senior leaders at Mandeville ‘accept their responsibility for the school’s past failings, but are determined to play their part in its future success’.
She said there is already evidence of better tracking and monitoring of the progress students are making, particularly with GCSE English and mathematics.
However she added that senior leaders are yet to prove that they can deliver improvements ‘at the rate and to the standard required to remove the school from special measures’.
“The executive headteacher is determined to give every member of staff the opportunity to prove their capability, but agrees with the inspector that this cannot take too long. Improvement must be rapid, consistent across all areas, and sustained.”
She ordered that the school must not employ newly qualified, inexperienced teachers until at least their next monitoring inspection, believed to be in the next few months.
Mrs Wilson said: “Rome was not built in a day but we are obviously very encouraged.
“It shows the confidence Ofsted has shown in our capacity to move forward. We have no illusions about making what we do really, really effective.
“It is important to say the responsiveness and determination of staff to the challenges which have been set have really encouraging to see.”
She said the school will next be visited by Ofsted in Easter and that she wanted Mandeville to be out of special measures and rated as ‘good’ by April 2015.