Hunts headteacher frustrated at Ofsted grading

RAPID improvements at St Peter s School in Huntingdon have been praised by Ofsted. But the inspection process has left headteacher Val Ford frustrated because, despite the leap forward, the school was given the grade of satisfactory . The report is ext

RAPID improvements at St Peter's School in Huntingdon have been praised by Ofsted.

But the inspection process has left headteacher Val Ford frustrated because, despite the leap forward, the school was given the grade of 'satisfactory'.

"The report is extremely positive and recognises that most of the school's work is good, but due to the restrictions of the new Ofsted model introduced from September this year, the school has been graded as satisfactory overall," Mrs Ford explained.

"St Peter's School has made excellent progress in its pupil attainment over the past three years from a very low starting point.


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"This year the results have hit the national average and in some measures exceeded it.

"We have been taken out of the National Challenge as a result of our progress with A*-C grades at GCSE including English and maths and our A-C grades were 68 per cent.

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"We are extremely pleased with the Ofsted grades we received which recognise all the outstanding work that our staff and students do, but like many other heads, I am frustrated and disappointed at the 'ceiling' now placed on this process.

"It seems there is no reward for success only more hoops to jump through. Some schools in challenging and difficult circumstances and with a diverse range of abilities, will struggle to be graded good overall."

St Peter's achieved the highest Ofsted grade possible - outstanding - for the effectiveness of the care, guidance and support it gives to pupils and 19 other categories, including teaching, behaviour, curriculum, attendance, current progress of students, student safety and leadership and management were judged as good.

The areas the school scored lower marks for included pupils' attainments (low) and the outcomes of students in sixth form (satisfactory).

The inspectors visited 35 lessons and met teachers, governors and students, and reported on rapid improvements, good behaviour, pupils' adoption of healthy lifestyles, their contribution to the community and attendance.

But overall the 1,197-pupil school was graded as satisfactory.

The inspectors' report said: "St Peter's is a satisfactory school. However it has made substantial improvement in the last three years and much of its work is now good."

To improve further the inspectors said St Peter's needs to increase the proportion of students achieving a higher GCSE grade in both English and maths, improve teaching and pupil progress in science throughout the school and increase the rate of progress in the sixth form.

INFORMATION: The full report is on the school's website www.stpeters.cambs.sch.uk

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