Higham Ferrers school showing signs of improvement

Inspectors say a Higham Ferrers school is taking effective action to remove itself from special measures.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 6:00 am

The Ferrers School in Queensway was branded inadequate last year after a shocking Ofsted report concluded the school was falling short of acceptable standards.

Since then it joined the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust and implemented several changes. In a report published last week Ofsted, who carried out a monitoring visit in September, said they were improving.

Principal Angela Smith said she was confident they will be removed from special measures at their next full inspection.

Principal Angela Smith with school pupils.

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She said: “This report confirms our view that the changes we are implementing are having a significant and positive impact across the school.

“The morale is high, and the culture and feeling throughout the school’s staff and pupils is positive and optimistic.

"We are clear what we need to do, with the support of Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, to continue this and secure the best outcomes for our students and gain the recognition from Ofsted that our community deserves.

“This report also follows our recent exam results which were very pleasing, with more than two-thirds of students securing the government benchmark grade 4 or above in both English and maths.

“We still have some areas to continue improving, but if we continue on this trajectory, we are confident that we will be removed from special measures at our next full inspection.”

Ofsted inspector Chris Stevens said leaders had established a strong culture of vigilance in the safeguarding of pupils, after the last full inspection criticised the school because visitors could freely walk in and out of school grounds.

The report said the pace of improvement at the school is accelerating and that pupils' attitudes were also improving.

In his report, Mr Stevens said: "The culture of the school is being positively transformed."

Changes at the school included the launch of a new house and pledges system that is a common feature of other schools in the trust, which was praised by the inspector.

Mr Stevens also praised the school's leadership.

He added: "With close support from the trust, they are unwavering in their determination to raise standards at the school."