Monkseaton High School was today judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, completing an incredibly swift turnaround in its fortunes.
Little more than two years ago the school received the grading: ‘requires improvement’. But from this week it joins the elite schools in the country in receiving the highest award school inspectors can give.
The scale of the improvement is even more remarkable given the school completely by-passed the ‘good school’ category to go top of the class with ‘outstanding’ - something very few schools in the country have ever achieved.
And today, headteacher Tracy Crowder, her staff and pupils were all celebrating the news that the school now has a national, as well as regional standing and reputation to be proud of.
Tracy said: “Everyone at Monkseaton High School is ecstatic. I have always been proud to be headteacher of this school but never more so than the last few weeks.
“My primary role is to ensure students feel happy, safe and can thrive and to create an environment where they can grow into confident and respectful young adults.
“But these last few weeks have shown they can go way beyond that; they have risen to great challenges, not only in terms of their academic studies, but more importantly in terms of their ability to be empathetic, respectful and role models to other young people. I truly am bursting with pride.”
The school’s rise up the rankings has coincided with Tracy’s appointment as head in March 2013 and her efforts on behalf of Monkseaton were recognised by Ofsted inspectors who highlighted ‘excellent’ leadership and the ability to create a school where pupils and staff were able to ‘flourish’ and ‘excel’.
But the headteacher was quick to point out that the improvement could only have been accomplished through a massive group effort from both staff and pupils.
She said: “It is testimony to the dedication, commitment and achievements of all of the staff, governors and young people – and the support we receive from parents and carers – that we have been judged to be outstanding this time around. We have worked so hard to make sure young people get the best education – and we are so pleased with this official recognition of our brilliant school.”
Ofsted school inspections are painstakingly carried out and schools are given one of four categories: outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.
Ofsted’s description of an outstanding school is: “highly effective in delivering outcomes that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures pupils are very well-equipped for the next stage of their education, training or employment.”
The Ofsted inspectors looked at five key areas in their visit to Monkseaton - achievement, teaching, behaviour, leadership and post-16 study programmes - and in each category were full of praise for the exceptionally high standards they observed.
The visit was spread over two days in which 32 lessons were watched, pupils’ work was looked at and talks took place with students, staff and governors.