Only ten months after being placed in special measures by Ofsted, King Charles School in Falmouth has been rated a “good” school overall and has even achieved “outstanding” in two categories.
News of the impressive rise from grade four to grade two has been met with jubilation among staff, governors, pupils and parents. It usually takes schools up to two years to be removed from special measures, with most improving by just one grade initially with King Charles’ improvement putting it in the top one per cent of schools nationally.
It was last September that the school was placed in special measures, a move which led to the resignation of head teacher, Heather Taylor, and Claire Fortey, head of St Francis School, being brought in to oversee King Charles’s fight back.
A team of three Ofsted inspectors spent two days at the school last month and their report, released this week, sees the school graded good for achievement of pupils and quality of teaching and outstanding for behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management, leading to an overall rating of good.
The report states: “Pupils’ achievement has improved markedly since the previous inspection. Teaching is good overall, with a growing proportion that is outstanding. Behaviour and pupils’ attitudes to learning are outstanding, this contributes significantly to their rapidly improving academic and personal achievements.
“The headteacher shows exceptional leadership. Her tireless dedication ensures that all in the school know exactly what is expected of them and how they can, and do, contribute to the drive for improvement.”
Mrs Fortey, who will back at King Charles in September, said: “I am absolutely over the moon. What is really unusual about this is that we were able to do it so quickly. I am thrilled that all the hard work, dedication and excellent practice within our school community has received this fantastic recognition.
“There is a total commitment and determination in this school for all the children to receive the best education possible and we are very proud of what we have achieved. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff and governor team who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to make King Charles the great school it is.”
Fiona Osman, chair of governors, said: “This highly positive report bears witness to the dedication, commitment and sheer hard work that has been put in by every member of staff in our school. Although the journey since September has been turbulent and hugely challenging at time, we have emerged as a stronger and better equipped team, able to deal effectively and competently with the expectations laid upon us. The school is now well placed to continue the pace of improvement and become an even better school.”
The school’s rapid improvement has also been welcomed and praised by senior officials at Cornwall Council. Barbara Dyer, the county’s senior manager for school improvement, said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised the commitment and hard work of the pupils, parents, staff and governors. I would particularly like to thank the headteacher and the chair of governors for their roles in leading the school forward, because their unwavering vision, leadership and management over the last ten months has been exemplary and has inevitably had such a transformational impact on provision for the pupils.”
Tim Osborne, the council’s head of primary and early years improvement, added: “This positive report highlights the effective partnership working between the school, the local authority and the diocesan board of education, which has resulted in King Charles moving from being a school requiring special measures to being judged as a “good” school in just ten months.
“This is an impressive achievement and I would like to congratulate the senior leadership, staff, pupils and Governors for their hard work, resilience and commitment. The local authority is confident that the school will now continue to move forward to become a centre of excellence within its community.”