Top marks as high school’s report is in

Headteacher of Duchess's Community High School Maurice Hall.
Headteacher of Duchess's Community High School Maurice Hall.

The headteacher of a north Northumberland high school has said that they will be striving to become an ‘outstanding school’ following their latest successful Ofsted report.

The Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick was inspected in September and the report, published in October, revealed that the school is good.

The report praises a number of aspects at the school including the atmosphere at the school, the reading recovery programe for students who are behind in Year 9, senior leadership and the wide range of examination and vocational courses offered.

It says: “Students in all year groups make good progress and achieve well.

“GCSE, AS and A-Level results all compare favourably with national figures.

“Students benefit from good-quality teaching.

“Their teachers have high expectations of them and plan interesting and varied lessons that enable them to make good progress.”

Headteacher Maurice Hall said: “This is our first whole school inspection since autumn 2007.

“Since then, Ofsted has gone through three different frameworks and the degree of challenge has increased markedly. We are proud that the report is a very positive one and shows that we have grown and developed since our previous inspection.

“There are numerous comments telling us how good a school we are and that we have the capacity to take the next step to outstanding within a short period of time.

“The areas of further improvement are very clear and we will be making sure that we strive to achieve these improvements as soon as possible. We know we can go further and this inspection is a really valuable signpost in our journey.

“To be a strong school in a community such as ours we need to have the support of everyone connected with us.

“It is important than our community knows that everyone who works at our school values the help and support that is offered on a daily basis.”

The Ofsted report offers two main reasons as to why the school is not yet outstanding.

‘In some lessons, teachers do not fully cater for the full range of students’ abilities. This means that some students are not fully challenged while others tend to struggle with their work’.

‘Although there is some outstanding teaching, the proportion is not large enough to lift students’ achievement from good to outstanding’.