25/06/2014 - Permalink

Sir John Talbot’s Technology College in Whitchurch rated ‘good’ by Ofsted

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Staff and students at Sir John Talbot’s Technology College in Whitchurch are celebrating after Ofsted removed them from special measures and graded the school as ‘good’, following a two-day inspection on 11-12 June 2014.

The report praised the “substantial improvements” and inspectors noted that students “now make rapid progress” and that monitoring information suggests “the school is on course for repeated exam success this summer”.  This news comes shortly after the school announced its plans to convert to an academy and join the Marches Academy Trust from September 2014.

Inspectors observed 25 lessons and, during their time at the school, they listened to students’ reading and reviewed students’ work.  They also observed break and lunchtime activities.  Meetings were held with the Executive Headteacher, Acting Headteacher, other senior and middle leaders, groups of students, the Chair of the Interim Executive Board (IEB) and two representatives from the local authority.

In their report, Inspectors made reference to “The strong and highly professional relationships between students and adults and, as a result, students work hard and want to do well”.

The inspectors commented that “A consistent approach to developing students’ personal skills results in the good behaviour and their strong understanding of how to be safe.”  They continued, “Richness is added to students’ learning through a variety of experiences” and “the balanced curriculum allows students to follow their area of interest”.

Headteacher Designate, David O’Toole, added:

“We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the Ofsted inspection.  Every member of the school community has worked together as a cohesive team to drive up standards at the school, and this report is testament to everyone’s hard work and dedication.  We are entering into an exciting period of time at SJT, with Academy conversion planned for September, and the outcome of this inspection is another important milestone for the school.  Sir John Talbot’s really does sit at the centre of the Whitchurch community and I am confident that these exciting developments at the school will ensure SJT is the school of choice for parents and children in the Whitchurch area.”

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services – transformation and safeguarding, said:

“I am very pleased that the recent Ofsted inspection of Sir John Talbot’s Technology College has confirmed the substantial improvements that have been made, and that the pupils and their parents can be confident that the school now provides a good education which prepares them well for the future.  I know that this is the result of a lot of very hard work on the part of staff in the school, and of the very successful partnership between the very effective Interim Executive Board, The Marches School and Shropshire Council staff, who have all worked to support the school to raise standards.  I congratulate all those who have contributed to this very successful outcome.”

Sarah Longville, Executive Headteacher of The Marches Academy Trust, commented:

“I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the inspection, and the report demonstrates the effective working partnership between The Marches School, Sir John Talbot’s, the local authority and the IEB.  We will now continue to build on this success going forward.”

Kate Campion, Chair of the IEB, commented:

“The IEB are delighted with the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection; not many schools make a significant improvement like this in such a short time.  Staff and students have worked tirelessly to make SJT a good school.  They, and we, are proud of what we’ve achieved.  We hope the local community will support the school and make it their school of choice as it moves to the next stage of its improvement journey as an Academy.”

Further information

There are 4 Ofsted grading categories:

Grade 1: Outstanding

Grade 2: Good

Grade 3: Requires Improvement

Grade 4: Inadequate

For more information, please contact Amy Gregory, Press Officer on 01691 664404 / gregory.a@marchesschool.net.