Backwell School loses outstanding rating in latest Ofsted inspection

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 March 2020

Backwell School. Picture: Google

Backwell School. Picture: Google

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Backwell School has lost its outstanding Ofsted rating.

Inspectors visited the school over two days in January and rated it good in all categories.

The school was last inspected in May 2013 and was exempt from routine inspections due to its outstanding rating.

However, headteacher Jon Nune believes the school ‘continues to exhibit all the strengths from 2013’, despite its lesser rating.

He said: “I believe the improvements that we have made in recent years, which are noted in the report, will ensure the school continues to provide a positive and effective learning environment for our students. The report matches my own self-evaluation of the school.

“I was particularly pleased to notice the emphasis from inspectors that we balance our ‘ambition for high academic standards with an emphasis on developing pupils’ personal development.”

The inspection was carried out under a new framework, introduced in September, which contains stricter criteria for each grade.

An Ofsted spokesman said: “Changes in school effectiveness may have happened at any point in that period.”

Inspectors praised the school’s ‘many strengths‘ and said students felt safe and well looked after, and ‘achieved well’ by the end of year 11,

While teachers balanced their ambitions for high academic standards with an emphasis on pupils’ personal development, and ‘relationships between students and staff are warm and good humoured.’

The school’s ‘strong and varied’ extra-curricular programme was also praised.

However it was also noted that not all leaders’ plans were clear, or well organised in some areas, some lacked the skills needed to drive improvement with ‘confidence and rigour’, and some did not have high enough expectations for their students.

Although the school had improved its support for students with special educational needs and disabilities, ‘more needed to be done.’

Inspectors also stated students did not make strong enough progress on A-level courses.

But they noted: “There is now a greater focus on this phase to encourage students to read more widely and organise their notes more effectively.”

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