Falconer School no longer in special measures

Watford Observer: Falconer School no longer in special measures Falconer School no longer in special measures

A Bushey school that was put into special measures last year has "come a long way in a short time" according to the latest Ofsted report, which praised the change in the school’s ethos.

Falconer School, for boys aged 11 to 16 who have behavioural, social or emotional difficulties, was put into special measures in February 2013 after an inspection rated the school "inadequate".

From March 11 to March 12 the school’s inspectorate observed 14 lessons at the school, which has 71 pupils, and decided the school no longer needed to be in special measures. 

The report said: "The school has come a long way in a short time and the right things are in place to move forward with confidence.

"Staff at all levels and the governing body have stepped up with enthusiasm and determination to do what is required to improve the school’s performance."

The school was put in special measures after the achievement of pupils was deemed inadequate and pupils were not getting the GCSE results they were capable of.

Attendance also did not meet the national required minimum standard for residential special schools.

Since January of this year Jonathan Kemp has taken over headship. In another Ofsted visit in November, inspectors noted since being in special measures students’ attendance had improved and was, with the exception of a few persistent absentees, increasingly in line with national averages.

A revised curriculum was also implemented meaning that almost all courses now lead to Level 2 qualifications.

This latest inspection recognised that as a result of better teaching, a wider range of subjects to study and aspirational targets, students now generally make expected progress from their individual starting points.

The report said: "Students in year 11 are on track to achieve a range of GCSEs, some at grades A* to C, which has secured places already for half of the group to go on to Level 3 courses in September. This is a significant improvement from the qualifications gained by students in the past."

The report concluded that not all national minimum standards are being met yet and there are four areas for improvement including the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

Headteacher Jonathan Kemp said that to come out of special measures in such a short time is a "remarkable achievement".

He said: "Now a clear agenda has been set by Ofsted for the school to write its School Improvement Plan, the school aim to become ‘Good’ by March 2015.  This is a real testimony to the hard work and dedication of our students and staff."

The school was also visited in November.

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