Alnwick’s high school still good, say Ofsted inspectors

View of the Duchess's Community High School in Alnwick
View of the Duchess's Community High School in Alnwick

Alnwick’s high school, which was inspected recently by Ofsted for the first time in five years, continues to be good.

The Duchess’s Community High School was visited by the regulator last month for a short inspection, which takes place in schools which are good or outstanding to check that they are still at those levels.

The report letter confirmed that the Duchess’s, rated good in September 2012, continues to be so as ‘the leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection’.

It adds: ‘Pupils enjoy being at this school. They are well cared for by your staff. Your curriculum is planned to maximise pupils’ learning opportunities and is broad and balanced. The extra-curricular opportunities provided are plentiful and help to support pupils develop their confidence and wider personal and social skills.’

However, there are still areas which need work: ‘Differences in outcomes between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils nationally are showing signs of diminishing. However, their attendance and the progress they make still lag behind others. You and your leadership team recognise that this needs addressing.’

Headteacher Maurice Hall said: “We take great pride in the fact that Ofsted still believes we are a good school with many strengths; acknowledging that we provide well for a diverse community in terms of provision, outcomes, support and challenge.

“We are particularly pleased that they recognise how thoroughly we understand ourselves and what we need to do to improve further.”

He added that the inspectors ‘came away with a genuine view that ours was a strong community doing its best for all its young people – preparing them not just for the reminder of their time in school, but also their adult life to come’.