Sat, 06 Jul 2019
JOHN O’Gaunt School in Hungerford has been rated ‘good’ for the first time by the education watchdog Ofsted.
As a result of a remarkable turnaround, it is now a first choice for increasing numbers of parents, according to the report.
Inspectors lavished praise on the staff, governors, pupils and school community, stating: “Since academisation, leaders have been successful in driving up standards.
“As a result of their actions, teaching and pupils’ outcomes are good.
“The headteacher has created a culture of higher ambition in which pupils are encouraged to reach their potential in a nurturing and inclusive way.
“Staff know their pupils extremely well and support them effectively in their personal development.”
The ‘good’ rating is a vindication for headteacher Alan Henderson and of the decision to join the Excalibur Academies Trust in 2016.
The last full inspection report, in 2014, listed the school as ‘requiring improvement’.
The current report states: “Leaders have worked hard to build community confidence in the school, and parental engagement is growing... as a result, increasing numbers of parents are choosing the school for their sons and daughters.
“Teachers... are enthusiastic, dedicated and strongly supportive of the school.
“They recognise the significant changes that have been brought about and are proud to be a part of the school’s improvement.”
School governors are also praised. The report stated: “[They] have a wide range of professional skills and experience.
“Governors understand the role the school plays in the local community and are committed to ensuring that the community is served by an inclusive and increasingly effective school.”
Of the pupils, the report stated: “In this small school, pupils form strong relationships across year groups and clearly enjoy each other’s company and the close-knit community atmosphere.
“Pupils’ progress since the academy opened, in September 2016, has risen steadily.”
Headteacher Alan Henderson said of the report: “We’re all absolutely thrilled with the Ofsted judgement.
“The hard work and dedication of our committed and hard-working team of staff has led to rapid improvements in recent years, and it’s brilliant that this effort has now been recognised by Ofsted.
“I would like to thank the parents and governors who have supported the school for many years.
“Hopefully, this judgement will give the whole town of Hungerford something to scream and shout about, and encourage even greater support for their local secondary school.”
He added: “The support from Excalibur Academies Trust has been crucial to the recent success, and I’m sure this relationship will go from strength to strength in the years to come.”