Staff and pupils at Carleton High School are celebrating after being rated a good school by Ofsted following an inspection on the 4th and 5th July 2019.
The school under its previous leadership had been placed in special measures in 2017. The 11-16 school, part of Pontefract Academies Trust, now has its highest rating for ten years. New leadership at trust and school level have taken the school out of special measures and to a good rating in a twelve-month period.
Inspectors spent two days in the school observing lessons, talking with staff and pupils, and seeking the viewpoints of parents.
Jo Cross, Head of School, said the Ofsted report reflected the “energy, commitment and hard work” of everyone in the school community.
“The staff at school have worked so hard and we are delighted that Ofsted recognise that this is a transformed school. I am incredibly proud of our achievements over the last twelve months in what has been a real team effort. I would like to thank all staff, children, the trust, parents, governors and leaders. This is the first time in ten years that this judgement has been awarded so it is an achievement to be proud of. We receive outstanding support and direction from the trust on a daily basis and we now have the platform for even bigger and better things.”
Phil Smith HMI, the lead inspector, said “Leaders have significantly improved the school since the previous inspection. Accountability for improving pupil achievement is a golden thread that runs through the work of the school.”
Pontefract Academies Trust, which operates the two secondary schools in the town, was praised with the report saying the trust has been instrumental in “driving improvements at a dizzying pace” with “sensible decisions made to improve the school leadership, behaviour and teaching”.
The Ofsted report describes “behaviour as a real strength of the school” and that there has been a “step change in the way pupils behave” whilst the school “pervades an air of calm and orderliness”. In addition, the work that the school has done to tackle weak legacy performance was highlighted by the inspection team, with “disadvantaged, lower attaining pupils and those with special educational needs and disabilities now making better progress”.
Jo Cross, Head of School, added “It was great to see that Ofsted recognise the amount of work we have done in developing our staff. We work very closely on staff training with The King’s School, the other secondary in the trust”. The report says that, “Teachers are full of praise for the training that is helping them improve their teaching” and “the trust and the school have made very sensible decisions to align their curriculum with that of the other secondary school within the trust. This ensures that teachers’ expertise can be pooled.”
Julian Appleyard OBE, the CEO of Pontefract Academies Trust, was delighted with the outcome of the recent Ofsted visit. Mr Appleyard said “The judgement validates the work of the last twelve months. The school is a totally different place from twelve months ago. It is a pleasure to see the effort and dedication of all coming to fruition. We are confident that the school will continue to go from strength to strength. Carleton High is a special place and staff and students should be rightly proud of the rapid progress that has been made.”
Click here to read the full Ofsted report.